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Invest in Girls and Women to Tackle Climate Change and Conserve the Environment


The briefing note is identified as a ‘policy brief.’ Would you indeed categorize the note as a policy brief- Why or why not-

Can you identify who sent the briefing note- and to whom it was addressed.

Did someone review-approve the Briefing Note- If so, where does the approval show up.

What is the purpose or “issue” being addressed- Please summarize in your own words.

What is the current status of the issue- Please summarize in your own words.

What, if any, are the key social implications -political, stakeholder, and-or financial considerations- or other risks being identified-discussed.

What, if any, are the recommendations being advanced?

Invest in Girls and Women to Tackle Climate Change and Conserve the Environment Facts, Solutions, Case Studies, and Calls to Action.

Gender equality is critical to the fight against climate change. The first step toward tackling the challenges of climate change is to create a backdrop against which girls and women are empowered to safeguard the environment. Climate change and environmental degradation represent a great threat to poverty reduction, gender equality and to achieving the SDGs. They impact health, food security, nutrition, food production, migration, and people’s earnings. Given many girls’ and women’s roles in agricultural production and as the procurers and consumers of water, cooking fuel, and other household resources, they are not only well suited to find solutions to prevent further degradation and adapt to the changing climate — they have a vested interest in doing so. This policy brief examines some useful strategies to promote the inclusion of women in climate change mitigation, adaptation, and negotiations and ensure their voices are heard.

Climate change is increasing temperatures and affecting weather patterns, resulting in environmental degradation and heightened competition for natural resources and arable land.1 Impediments to agricultural production caused by environmental hazards such as flooding, droughts, and landslides in turn heighten community vulnerability, decrease food security, force students to drop out of school to handle increasing workloads at home, and increase poverty rates of the 68.5 million people forcibly displaced around the world, it is estimated that an average of 21.5 million have been displaced annually because of climate related issues since 2008.3,4,5 In 2017 alone, disasters, floods, and tropical storms displaced 18.8 million people in 135 countries. Climate change affects everyone, marginalized groups are particularly impacted because of socio-economic problems, such as poverty and limited access to natural resources. As an example, indigenous people make up 15% of the world’s poorest and maintain 80% of the planet’s biodiversity on their lands, yet are among the first to face the direct consequences of climate change.7,8 However, it is girls and women who bear the greatest burden of climate change and are disproportionately affected compared to men.

Section 1

The Africa Adaptation Program (AAP) addressed women’s roles in climate change in Nigeria by boosting their skills and knowledge with regard to climate change impacts, policy, financing, and negotiations. They focused on developing women’s leadership in key government ministries related to climate change. Many of the countries involved in the AAP program from 2008-2012 worked to revise budgeting processes so that they included funding focused specifically on the gender-specific needs of many women regarding climate change mitigation and adaptation.

In advance of Vietnam’s 2013 typhoon, 245 homes in the highest-risk communities engaged a local Women’s Union to develop storm-resistant shelters in advance. The storm displaced thousands of people from their homes, but no evacuations were needed from those that worked with the Women’s Union. Early engagement of this women-led organization in disaster mapping and preparedness was critical to their protection and recovery. Ensure Investment and the Implementation of a Gender-Sensitive Approach to Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Activities Girls and women account for half of all people affected by natural disaster, but face disproportionately greater risk than compared to men.51 The impact of natural disaster and climate change often exacerbates existing inequalities and gender biases in society, leading to different forms of discrimination and increased vulnerability for girls and women.52 Investment in gender-sensitive humanitarian response requires a sustained understanding of the different needs and experiences of girls and women. Far too often, national governments and international agencies fail to apply a gender lens to the needs of affected populations and consequently, under-invest in gender-responsive humanitarian assistance.

As traditional domestic caretakers, girls and women must work harder, walk farther, and risk their safety and wellbeing to procure food, water, and cooking supplies in times of drought or natural disaster. In response to this disproportionate burden, a gender-sensitive approach is one that could address the equitable distribution of labor related to the provision of food and other resources.53 Humanitarian actors should also take into account the risk to security and physical integrity that girls and women face in fragile settings and address issues related to sexual violence, harassment, and mobility. For example, humanitarian actors could consider including women in food distribution teams and setting up separate distribution points for girls and women, where socio-cultural traditions may limit their mobility and access to resources in public spaces.

Safe Access to Fuel and Energy (SAFE) Programme - Saving lives through SAFE cooking The World Food Programme’s (WFP) Safe Access to Fuel and Energy (SAFE) initiative, addresses the risks people face when collecting and using firewood, by providing access to fuel-efficient stoves. The SAFE initiative, recognizes that the delivery of food assistance is linked with several safety, health, and environmental hazards particularly in humanitarian settings, where girls and women are at increased risk of gender-based violence. The (SAFE) initiative adopts a multi-faceted approach to tackle these challenges, by providing alternative fuel sources, promoting fuel-efficient stoves and providing education to women and vulnerable communities on how to minimize air pollution. In 2014, the SAFE initiative had reached over 2.8 million people across countries such as Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Uganda. The initiative aims to reach 10 million people by 2020.

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