This week, the Women and Gender Constituency, along with many female party delegates, clearly laid out their aspirations moving forward. The Gender Decision Contact Group followed up on Agenda Item 15 of the COP. The group is looking to finalize by Saturday their conclusions on guiding principles for the SBI to work with regarding the Gender Decision made at COP 18 in Doha. Many party delegates endorsed the document “Recommendations on Gender Decision” (ROGD) that was produced by the Women and Gender Constituency.
The negotiators took a comprehensive approach, in which they vied for an inclusion of gender that would permeate all climate change initiatives. In finance, there was a strong desire by Malawi and several others for a travel fund for female LDC delegates. Included in the ROGD document was a recommendation that COP 19 should mandate the Green Climate Fund, as an implementation entity of the financial mechanism of the UNFCCC, to include gender considerations in their operational policies, as well as their project/program implementation, and to report on progress toward a gender sensitive approach in their annual reports to the COP. Next, Nepal made a strong push for capacity building, clarified by Iceland to detail that capacity building programs on gender equality should be directed at men and women. Iceland also said they would like to see a gender expert position created at the Secretariat level. In regards to improving female participation, Bangladesh explained the need for setting a target in terms of meeting a percentage goal for women delegate attendees. Take a look at the Secretariat Report on Gender Composition here.
However, overall the parties were ready to move beyond the simple focus on gender balance at the COP’s; going ahead they aspire for targeted attention on prioritizing gender equality in all program implementation. The parties were like-minded that in-session workshops for expansion of knowledge on the links between gender and climate change are beneficial to all.
The growing harmony of the delegates on gender issues is a strong signal that improvements will be made in this arena in years ahead. The SBI has now been given ample suggestions moving forward. Next Tuesday’s COP 19 Gender Day will give added focus to these gender considerations.