Fund For Gender Equality Fact Sheet: Climate Change


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Learn about the impact of UN Women's Fund For Gender Equality grantees on climate change.

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Fund For Gender Equality Fact Sheet: Climate Change

  1. 1. FACT SHEET:CLIMATE CHANGE: The Need for A Gendered PerspectiveC limate change is not gender-neutral. It represents an enormous challenge tothe well-being of women. As the majority of Ultimately, a gendered analysis of climate change provides a holistic approach to an issue that disproportionately impacts women but also relies upon them, as agents of change, to propose and implement innovative solutions that will help to mitigate itsthe world’s poor, women are extremely vul- impacts.nerable to the abrupt environmental changesthat climate change causes, among them CASE STUDY: Ghanadrought and deforestation; rising tempera- P In GHANA, where an estimated 35 percent of the land is prone to desertificationtures; declining rainfall totals and variabil- and where the desert is increasing by 20,000 hectares a year, women are demand-ity; rising sea levels and high incidences of ing that their voices be heard on these critical issues. UN Women’s Fund for Genderweather extremes and disasters. Yet women Equality, which promotes the political and economic empowerment of women allalso are keen observers of those changes and over the world, has underwritten a two-year, $500,000 programme in Ghana totheir valuable first-hand knowledge, too often help women address the impact of climate change. The programme, with an equaloverlooked by policy makers, can be utilized amount matched by the government, increases the ability of women to advocate forto find ways to lessen the hardship of climate gender-sensitive policies in national and international forums and workshops, andchange and in the long term, contribute to to conduct face-to-face meetings with government officials as the nation shapes itsthe halting and reversing of this phenomenon. climate change policies.The measured impact of climate change onwomen and men must be understood as both P In GHANA, agriculture and livestock are central to the country’s economy, with 70an environmental and a socio-economic phe- percent of the population depending directly or indirectly on agriculture, includingnomenon. It is the product of the susceptibil- fisheries, crop and animal farming. In this context, women, who form the mainstayity of an environment to climatic shifts and of the agricultural workforce, devote much of their lives to working the land and asthe adaptive capacity of the population to such, are disproportionately reliant on access to local natural resources (includingrespond to these changes. Thus the impact water, energy sources, etc.). Throughout Ghana, droughts are a major problem for theof climate change varies across age, gender, northern and coastal savannahs, whereas variability of rainfall has most significantlyclass, geographical location, etc. — and his- impacted transition and forest zones. As climate change makes land increasinglytorically marginalized populations (in which arid, women lose the means to grow food to provide for their families, makingwomen are disproportionately represented) food insecurity more likely. At the same time, women must travel farther and farthermust contend with factors such as limited to gather fuel and water. Furthermore, as more extreme weather makes flooding inaccess to decision making and economic the country’s coastal areas more frequent, it increases the occurrence of migrationassets - which impact their ability to proac- and the incidence of urban vulnerability and displacement — with northern regions oftively engage with and effectively respond to the country and parts of Volta region seeing substantial numbers of their populationthe effects of climate change. moving to the wetter south and urban areas. continued on back
  2. 2. P In GHANA, women have insisted that the Supporting women’s political and economic empowerment is a critical step in thegovernment take into account the gender advancement of gender equality. In 2009, UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equalitydifferentiated impact of climate change was launched to strengthen women’s engagement in both areas. In the two shortwhen shaping national plans for climate years of the Fund’s existence, spurred on by generous donations of $65 million fromchange. The co-leads of the Fund’s grant, the government of Spain, $3 million from the government of Norway, and $800,000ABANTU for Development and the Gender from the government of Mexico, the Fund has underwritten 40 grants in 35 countries.Action on Climate Change for Equality andSustainability (GACCES) , have teamed up The programmes that the grants help underwrite vary from country to country. Butto advocate for the inclusion of women they share characteristics in common: They are run by local and national organiza-candidates on the National Climate Change tions, government agencies and partnerships among and between these sectors;Committee and nominated women to serve they emphasize best practices and impact-oriented efforts, and they achieve tangiblein this capacity. Due to these and other results for women and girls.efforts, women make up about 30 percent In this way and in so many others, the Fund has made important headway, but theof the membership of this critical commit- work is far from done. That is why support for the Fund is so critical — now and intee. In addition, the grantees have obtained the future. UN Women invites gov¬ernments, the private sector, and individuals tocommitments of support from government support UN Women’s Fund for Gen¬der Equality in providing efficient and impactministries who have pledged to incorporate oriented grants to organizations achieving progress on gender equality and women’sa gender-sensitive perspective in their cli- rights. To donate to the FGE please contact the FGE Secretariat:mate-change related operations and policyformulation processes. They have conducted Ana Maria Enriquezongoing workshops on the need to take intoaccount the impact of climate change on Chief, Fund for Gender Equalitywomen and have trained 158 lawmakers and78 members of the media on this issue. They 866 UN Plaza, Suite 540have conducted research in selected areasof Ghana with high climate variability. They New York, NY 10017have spoken out internationally, at the UNFramework Convention on Climate Change. (917) 484 - 8064They have brought together women andpolicy makers. And they have helpedimplement local sustainability projects with Photo credit David Valdez.women affected by climate change in theupper west region of Ghana.Published 11 /2011