Doha Conference propels advances in gender balance

The 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, carried out in Doha Qatar in November 2012, took intoaccount several considerations to bring a greater gender balance to support action on mitigation and adaptation in the Climate Change global discussions. 

doha 2012 logo Photo: COP18CMP8

In 2001, at COP 7 in Marrakesh, the first decision (DECISION 36/CP.7) was adopted at the UNFCCC recognizing gender equality, particularly women’s participation as needed to achieve progress on mitigating and adapting to climate change at all levels. However, progress on implementing this decision has been slow, as highlighted by the current numbers of women on UNFCCC boards, bodies and delegations.

By 2012, at COP18, a proposal for a strengthened decision to enhance women’s participation was proposed and supported by several countries. As result of this effort encouraged by several women organizations (among them the Global Gender and Climate Alliance) the secretariat was requested to organize, in conjunction with the nineteenth session of the Conference of the Parties, an in-session workshop on gender balance in the UNFCCC process, gender-sensitive climate policy and capacity-building activities to promote the greater participation of women in the UNFCCC process.

On the other hand, Parties were compel to meeting the goal of gender balance by, inter alia, nominating women to bodies established under the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol with the aim of a gradual but significant increase in the participation of women towards achieving this goal, and review progress made at the twenty-second session of the Conference of the Parties.
Women participation can reduce the vulnerability

Doha Conference also paid attention on approaches to address loss and damage associated with climate change impacts in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of Climate Change. This called particular interest when adverse impacts of climate change affects those segments of the population that are already vulnerable owing to geography, gender, age, indigenous or minority status, or disability. In order to this, supporting the collection and management of relevant data, including gender-disaggregated data, for assessing the risk was identified like a need.

Adaptation policies points to gender as strategic component
Improving women’s participation to addresses the needs of women and men equally was a remarked idea in Doha. It was clear that national adaptation plans process should facilitate country-driven, gender-sensitive, participatory action, taking into consideration vulnerable groups, communities and ecosystems.
Also, as part of their national programmes and activities in implementing the Convention, Parties were encouraged to seek input and public participation, including participation by youth, women, civil society organizations and other groups in the formulation and implementation of efforts to address climate change, and also in relation to the preparation of national communications. In this called, NGOs were invited to foster the participation of all stakeholders in the implementation of Article 6 of the Convention and to encourage them to report on the implementation of their activities.

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