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TitleResource Guide on Gender and Climate Change
TagsGreenhouse Effect Kyoto Protocol Greenhouse Gas Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change
File Size2.9 MB
Total Pages151
Document Text Contents
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United Nations Development Programme

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United Nations Development Programme

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91 SÆnchez del Valle, 2000.
92 Anderson, 2002.
93 MAAS, 2004.
94 Oxfam, 2008.

• In 1998, the Honduran community of La Masica was given gender-sensitive
community training about early warning and risk systems. With that training, the
women in the community took charge of monitoring the early warning systems
that had been abandoned. Six months later, during Hurricane Mitch, not a single
death was reported in La Masica because the municipal government was able to
evacuate the population in time.91

• During a drought in the small islands of the Federated States of Micronesia, the
women�s ancestral knowledge about the islands� hydrology allowed them to easily
find places to dig wells for drinking water. The women do not normally become
involved with decision-making, but the information they provided benefited the
entire community.92

• In Bangladesh, climate patterns have changed in recent years and rains have
become increasingly stronger and less predictable. The floods of 2004 left
enormous losses with 280 people losing their lives, around four million being
evacuated, and thousands of others being left without food or housing.93 In the
district of Gaibandha, a woman named Sahena is trying to deal with these flood
patterns. She has organized a committee in her community to prepare women
for floods. The committee teaches the women to make portable clay ovens, raise
their houses, and use radios to hear of possible floods or climate change. Although
Sahena faced resistance from her husband and other women, she is now president
of the committee and has earned the respect of the community. Efforts such as
hers save lives and empower women.94

These experiences make it abundantly clear that women, while disproportionately
vulnerable to the adversities of climate change, are not passive, and can become agents
of change.

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While there has been somewhat more exploration of the links between gender and
climate change adaptation, the gender aspects of mitigation are still preliminary.
Actions associated with mitigation are grouped into two areas: 1) the reduction of
GHG emissions and 2) the capture, fixing and sequestration of carbon. In each case, the
solutions or initiatives are different and, consequently, so is the way in which gender
considerations are articulated.

BOX 13

1. Think big: gender equality and the principles of risk reduction must guide all disaster mitigation
aspects, responses to disasters and reconstruction. The window of opportunity is quick to close.

2. Know the facts: gender analysis is imperative to directly helping victims and planning an equitable

3. Work with women in base organizations: in communities, the women�s organizations have
information, knowledge, experiences, networks and resources that are vital to increasing resilience
in the face of disasters.

4. Work with and build the capacities of already existing women�s groups.

5. Resist stereotypes: base all initiatives on knowledge of the speci�c contexts and di�erences of each
culture, economic situation, as well as politics and gender, and not on generalizations.

6. Use a human rights approach: democratic and participatory initiatives help women and girls more.
Both men and women have a right to the conditions they need to enjoy their fundamental human
rights, as well as simply to survive.

7. Respect and build women�s capacities. Avoid overburdening women, who already have a very
heavy workload and many family responsibilities.

Source: Gender and Disasters Network, 2005.

Seven principles for including a gender perspective in reconstruction
and recovery: Work done in disaster situations is not gender-neutral

Source: IPCC (2001).

BOX 14

In the context of climate change, mitigation is �an anthropogenic intervention to reduce the sources of green-
house gases or enhance their sinks.� It is focused on limiting net emissions so as to slow and eventually reverse
the rise of greenhouse gases in atmospheric concentrations.

Definition of mitigation

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- Strengthen account-rendering
systems used by all personnel
concerning the inclusion of a gender
perspective; these should include
evaluating professional performance.
Include a gender perspective
in operational mechanisms,
in accordance with national
development strategies. This includes
evaluations common to all countries
and the United Nations Development
Assistance Framework, strategy
documents on the fight against
poverty and the frameworks on
presenting reports and on execution,
as well as documents related to
achieving international development
goals such as those cited in the
Millennium Declaration.

- Continue to support governments
and to collaborate with civil society
in their efforts to apply the Beijing
Platform for Action and the results of
the twenty-third extraordinary period
of sessions of the General Assembly.

- Continue to develop and
institutionalise supervision and
assessment instruments, as well
as methodologies to analyze
repercussions on the subject of

- Promote the collection, compilation
and analysis of data itemized by
gender and ensure that such data are

- Promote the incorporation of gender
perspectives in macro-economic
policies and social development,
and in the most important national
development programmes.

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United Nations Development Programme

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