NEW YORK — Women are uniquely positioned to help curb the harmful consequences of a changing climate, according to a new comprehensive on-line resource kit on gender, population and climate change launched today by UNFPA and the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO).
“Climate change is happening now and is setting back global development efforts by decades,” said Xuan Nguyen, Executive Director of WEDO. “Though climate change magnifies existing discrimination and inequalities, women are not simply victims – they are innovators, organizers, educators, caretakers, leaders, agents of change.”
The toolkit Climate Change Connections presents an overview of gender, population and climate change in the context of policy, finance, adaptation plans, best practices and advocacy tools. It argues for a new convergence in thinking and practice that aligns the efforts of governments, aid organizations and the general public.
“The impacts of climate change won’t be felt equally,” said Aminata Toure, chief of the gender, human rights and culture branch of UNFPA. “Incorporating a gender perspective into climate change policies, projects and funds is crucial in ensuring that women contribute to and benefit from equitable climate solutions.”
Climate Change Connections shows that women’s empowerment, including many of the policies that affect population trends—such as more educational opportunities for girls, greater economic opportunities for women and expanded access to reproductive health and family planning—can also reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts and slow the growth of greenhouse gas emissions, helping to ensure sustainable development.
This subject will be explored further in the forthcoming UNFPA State of World Population 2009 report, entitled Facing a Changing World: Women, Population and Climate. This flagship report will launch on 18 November 2009.