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Women & Climate Change. "We cannot solve global problems using half of the world's brain power." Monika Devikka port. Millennium Development Goal #3: Gender Equity. there is no effective development strategy in which women do not play a central role. When women are fully involved:

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Women & Climate Change


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  1. Women & Climate Change "We cannot solve global problems using half of the world's brain power." Monika Devikkaport

  2. Millennium Development Goal #3:Gender Equity there is no effective development strategy in which women do not play a central role. When women are fully involved: * families are healthier & better fed *their income, savings and reinvestment go up. *what is true of families is true of communities and, eventually, of whole countries.

  3. UNDP Human Development Report 2007/2008 "Women and young girls have to allocate large amounts of time to the collection of firewood, compounding gender inequalities in livelihood opportunities and education. Collecting fuelwood and animal dung is a time-consuming and exhausting task, with average loads often in excess of 20kg.

  4. Women small scale farmers Small scale farmers produce over 70% of the world’s agriculture, receive zero in subsidies from governments bedded down with big pesticide and agribiz. "Women from Least Developed Countires (LDCs) favor different solutions for mitigation and other options for dealing with the consequences of climate change. And that's because they are the ones who traditionally deal with the food and the water needs of the family." .

  5. Collecting firewood … Research in rural Tanzania has found that women in some areas walk 5–10 kilometres a day collecting and carrying firewood, with loads averaging 20kg to 38kg. In rural India, average collection times can amount to over 3 hours a day. Beyond the immediate burden on time and body, fuelwood collection often results in young girls being kept out of school."

  6. 370 million will experience extreme hunger by 2050 • The Hunger report Family nutrition is directly affected by women’s ability to farm. Women farmers grow more than half of all the food in developing countries, and up to 80 percent in parts of Africa, generally in the form of small-scale crops for household consumption. Climate change has already begun to affect agricultural production and, consequently, women’s livelihoods and their ability to support their families’ nutritional needs. Extension efforts need to reach women, who often do not have access to information that would help them make better decisions about how to adapt to climate change.

  7. Furthermore, many of the daily challenges facing women farmers in the developing world, such as the difficulty of accessing credit, tools, training and technical advice, only increase their vulnerability to climate change. A recent study by the International Food Policy and Research Institute (IFPRI) showed that it is the more prosperous African farmers, those with access to credit, agricultural extension services, reliable information, and secure title to property, who were more likely to use adaptation techniques. Adaptation policies and strategies should take these factors into account and address the many obstacles women and subsistence farmers already encounter.

  8. Key is to ensure they can grow enough food to sustain themselves before they think about branching out to feed the rest of the world.

  9. Women & water More than 30 million people are now at risk of starvation in southern Africa and the Horn of Africa. All of these predominantly agricultural societies are also battling serious AIDS epidemics.

  10. Households in rural Africa spend an average of 26% of their time fetching water, and it is generally women who are burdened with the task actually, the most effective vaccine that you can give against child death in Africa is a glass of clean water. "that in the lives of ordinary people, it's hard to find something bigger than water.

  11. ghana over 50% of the total population is female and 30% of households are headed by women. Ghana's women direct key productive sectors which are particularly vulnerable to climate change. They represent 52% of the agriculture labor force, contribute 46% to the total GDP and produce 70% of subsistence crops.

  12. Nepal Extreme weather has had a devastating impact on the lives and property of Nepal. The pattern of frequent droughts followed by extreme rainfall threatens the food security and the economy of this nation, where 80% of the population relies on agriculture, which generates one third of its annual GDP. Climate change has also impacted the availability of water from traditional sources. "Women and children who are already vulnerable in normal conditions become even more so when there are droughts or floods," says delegate MeenaKhanal. "In the more remote areas, a lack of drinking water has become a problem as well, and consequently the rural women have to travel long distances to fetch drinking water." Additionally, food and water shortages increase the amount of time women have to spend away from their homes and communities, which also has security implications, especially in terms of human trafficking activities.

  13. Women’s leadership "The women of the world are demanding a paradigm shift that ensures their participation and leadership on decisions that affect their very survival and that of their families and communities," says Lorena Aguilar, Senior Gender Advisor for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

  14. Post tsunami Women are also highly vulnerable to climate change-related natural disasters, and, as recent research has shown, face a significant risk of disaster-related fatalities. Following the 2004 tsunami in Asia, Oxfam International reported that three-quarters of the fatalities in eight Indonesian villages were women and girls. In the second most affected district in India, Cuddalore, the proportion of female fatalities was nearly 90 percent.1

  15. Inuit women in Northern Canada have always had a deep understanding of weather conditions, as they were responsible for assessing hunting conditions and preparing the hunters accordingly. During a drought in the small islands of the Federal States of Micronesia, it was local women, knowledgeable about island hydrology as a result of land-based work, who were able to find potable water by digging a new well that reached the freshwater lens. The report concludes:

  16. Climate change will affect women and men differently, and these differences will have a direct effect on the lives of families and communities. Adaptation and mitigation measures should take advantage of gender analysis so that the needs of both women and men are built into initiatives from the beginning. The linkages between climate change, agriculture, and gender will continue to evolve and it’s important that gender be integrated into climate change research. Planning and strategy development must put gender at the forefront to avoid losing valuable time. Danielle Mutone-Smith is director for global trade and agriculture policy at Women Thrive Worldwide, the leading non-profit organization shaping U.S. policy to help women in developing countries lift themselves out of poverty.

  17. Green Belt Movement Nobel Laureate WangariMaathai, chair and founder of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya: while the climate crisis threatens all humanity, it is woman and children who stand to be bear the brunt of the impending crisis. "It is extremely important for women to be considered, because since they have not contributed much [to climate change] it would be unfair to allow them to suffer, as is expected, without the help that their governments in that region need in order to create solutions.”

  18. climate change impacts women are more severely affected by climate change and natural disasters because of their social roles and because of discrimination and poverty. they're also underrepresented in decision-making about climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, and, most critically, discussions and decisions about adaptation and mitigation.

  19. Although women in developing nations play key roles in overseeing agricultural development, food production and energy-related tasks, until now they have not been afforded the requisite representation and participation in international climate change negotiations.(2009)

  20. KavitaRamdas: • Women & Climate Change: Copenhagen "...there is a growing sense that with the challenges that are facing us on climate change, on growing militarization of societies, on the security front, you simply can't address this with a sort of a business as usual strategy. And I think women and girls have moved from a place of sort of being, "There, there, dear, that's nice." On the side. To really being seen as an engine for change in other critical world areas of making a difference and making an impact in the world. And that's why I think this is our moment." President and Chief Executive Officer of the Global Fund for Women, September, 2009.

  21. Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) in lead up to COP15 in Copenhagen "may be the first to recognize the gender dimensions of climate change, saving the lives of millions of women and children and taking a major step toward addressing the human impacts of climate change."

  22. Mexico Climate change is threatening the very ‘texture’ of Mexico – its soil, seeds, and vegetables – even its colors. In the end it is not about tacos and tamales. It is intangible things that are being lost. Like the pride a young Mexican girl once felt threading a toquilla through her hair. They are not learning from their grandmothers, they are learning from computers.

  23. WEDO Women's Development Fund to represent female voices, particularly those of women who are disproportionately impacted by the impacts of climate change in least developed countries.

  24. There was no language on gender issues in the climate debate only two years ago. “We have references to women and gender in the Cancun outcomes which will be a solid foundation for continued work next year. We also secured references in the subsidiary bodies, which means countries will be further supported to respond to urgent gender issues in their national implementation.”

  25. WEDO The Cancun Agreements are a foundation for moving us towards a more sustainable future. We know there is much more to be done, and we remain committed to ensuring that women’s rights and gender equality are central to the solution The. Women Delegates Fund (WDF), since 2009 has funded and trained over 25 women delegates from LDCs to attend UNFCCC meetings. "Women from Least Developed Countires (LDCs) favor different solutions for mitigation and other options for dealing with the consequences of climate change. And that's because they are the ones who traditionally deal with the food and the water needs of the family."

  26. Women for Development In 2009, backed by funding from Finland, WFD increased women's participation in UNFCCC talks by 30%, the highest number of women in the history of the UNFCCC. In 2010, this number has grown to 34%. Since 2009, over 25 women delegates have been funded to attend UNFCCC meetings through the WDF. In Cancun, the project focused on ensuring that its delegates consistently participated in all meetings and strengthened their networking and capacity building skill sets.

  27. Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA) To increase women’s leadership in decision making, WDF enhances the skills and knowledge of its delegates in ongoing training on such issues as negotiation skills, media, and communications and by providing expert presentations and research on difficult issues like REDD+ and climate finance as well as opportunities to influence implementation of policies on a national level.  

  28. COP16 The Cancun Agreement, though admittedly modest in its achievements succeeded in restoring faith in the UNFCCC process and exemplified the ability of the major players to make concessions which unified the parties in a shared vision of COP16's acknowledgment of much hard work ahead. It is a first step, which:

  29. • Recognizes the commitments set forth in the Copenhagen Accord by both developed and developing countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions

  30. Cancun agreement …. Recognizes the need for 'shared vision', transparency, the important role of education, and an initiative aimed at curbing deforestation.

  31. • Revives the legitimacy of the UNFCCC process which was seriously impacted by last year’s COP15

  32. Establishes the UN as controlling finances with the World Bank playing an advisory role for two years.

  33. Green climate fund Sets up a global climate fund tasked to provided $100 billion in financing by 2020 to developing countries

  34. The women of Cancun… Bangladesh the women of COP16 … In hundreds of forums both inside the COP talks and side events as well as in venues at Klimaforum and Via Campesina. From the expert determined leadership of COP President Patricia Espinosa, Mexico's minister of foreign affairs and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, the women of COP16 created a panorama representing all walks of life - academics, scientists, farmers, waste pickers, fledgling delegates, mothers and students. The new faces of climate change

  35. WEDO success at COP16 • After more than two years of targeted advocacy with a wide range of partners, WEDO contributed to securing eight references to women and gender equality First Lady of Mexico

  36. Cancun concensus • the Cancun Agreements recognize women and gender equality as integral to effective actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.  They include eight references to women and gender across seven sections of text (see compilation). • Gender considerations are now included not only in the foundational text for a post-2012 global agreement, but also in the outcome decisions for two subsidiary bodies of the UNFCCC. In its final statement the Women and Gender Constituency to the UNFCCC stated, “We now have the opportunity to transform current paradigms and prevent further damage by reducing inequalities, enhancing human rights and agreeing collectively on a comprehensive approach to combat climate change and save ecosystem integrity and humanity’s future.”

  37. Global Alliance of Wastepickers At a side event on Women and Climate Change, a Hindi women representing the Global Alliance of Wastepickers and Allies, attempted to share information about the problems her organization has in gaining a voice about the disproportionate impact of climate change on women in India.

  38. GAWA outside Moon Palace

  39. conclusion "the world will be saved by western woman” *Dalai Lama, Vancouver Peace Summit 2009

  40. Ethiopia's water statistics are undoubtedly the most shocking of all sub-Saharan Africa. More than 80 percent of Ethiopians live in the country's rural regions, where as few as 24 percent of the population enjoys safe accessible drinking water. Armies of women, with huge barrels lashed to their backs, line the roads early each morning and again in the afternoon, part of millions of women across the continent  who on an average day walk four miles and carry 44 pounds of water back to their families. All too often, the water they return home with is contaminated with disease.

  41. Women & Poverty • "I mean, you cannot meet a woman anywhere in the world and not be faced, again, with the fact that women are 70 percent of those who are the poorest in the world. And that's true, by the way, in the United States, again. Women are the majority of who's poor in this country, along with their dependent children."

  42. GAWA • GAWA: Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, South Africa, the United States, India, Canada, and Spain "to demonstrate that millions of waste pickers around the world, supported by international organizations with representation in dozens of countries, stand united and committed  to their struggle for climate protection and false waste and climate solutions.”

  43. In a Spring 2009 article An Issue of Environmental Justice: Understanding the Relationship among HIV/AIDS Infection in Women, Water Distribution, and Global Investment in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa, Tulane University's Nghana Lewis makes a powerful case for reframing HIV/AIDS as an issue of environmental justice by connecting the epidemic with the continent's water crisis and the disproportionate impact this co-existance has on the region's black women. • In the context of rural sub-Saharan Africa, understanding the HIV/AIDS crisis as an issue of environmental justice warrants consideration of policies that result in the inequitable distribution of clean water in this region, precisely because these policies place indigenous women at disproportionate risk of HIV/AIDS infection. • "From New York to Nairobi," explains Dr. Zeda Rosenberg, CEO of the International Partnership for Micro-bicides, an anti-HIV vaginal gel currently in large-scale testing, women "bear the brunt of this epidemic, and they are most at risk for biological reasons, and they are at risk because of their lack of social and economic power" (The End of AIDS). • Discussing "the politics of scarcity", Lewis suggests that institutionalized public policy restricts women's access to the infrastructure which would connect them to vital resources necessary for health and survival. • In Kenya, for example, where, because of HIV/AIDS, the current life-expectancy for women is fortyeight years (World Factbook 2007), the Royal Nairobi Golf Course "has sprinklers operating on a 12–hour-a-day basis," and, Watkins observes, "right next to the seventh green, you have [former Kenyan President Daniel] ArapMoi’s house, which has a swimming pool and a very green lawn" (Watkins 2006b). Rather, the restrictions apply disproportionately, if not exclusively, to Africa’s poor, the people lacking the wherewithal to organize politically and demand change. Policies governing these restrictions reflect varying legislative and judicial strategies that postcolonial African states began pursuing in the 1960s to concentrate economic power in the hands of indigenous African elites who replaced retreating European imperial admininstrators. As Native Ghanaian, Associate Professor of Economics at American University, and President of the Free Africa Foundation George Ayittey crudely puts it: "In [postcolonial] African pork-barrel politics, elite barracudas absconded with the bacon, leaving the people to starve" (Ayittey 2000, 591). And, I would add, to thirst.

  44. "I believe in every cell in my body that the creative human potential in women and girls is the greatest untapped resource on earth. The future is a beautiful thing. Women’s voices will come out of the shadows. Global decision makers will no longer be able to ignore us. This is not about charity this is about women." Jensine Larson. PulseWire

  45. "They walk all this way for water that may not be by any means safe or drinkable," said Meselech Seyoum of the Ethiopian NGO Water Action. "This really affects development in the country because there are so many other things could be focusing on instead of working so hard to secure water."

  46. In a 2006 interview, 'Africa: The Most Effective Vaccine against Child Death in Africa is a Glass of Clean Water', Kevin Watkins, the lead author of the UNs 2005 Human Development Report, discusses the significant connections between women, water and development in sub-Saharan Africa. (The report truly spotlighted water inequalities with its revelation that a typical Western toilet flush used 50 litres of water, when as little as 20 litres of clean water daily would save millions of lives while promoting economic development.) • "... globally there are roughly two million child deaths as a result of not having access to clean water," says Watkins. "And Africa is hugely over represented in that number. It accounts for something like a third or more, roughly 40% of total child deaths from water-related problems. That is a health outcome."

  47. Last September, President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and President TarjaHalonen, of Finland, as well as other heads of state, called for effective and the immediate implementation of 1325 and an increased presence of women in climate change talks. Finlands' government has allocated €500,000 to ensure the participation of women in the Copenhagen talks.

  48. Green Climate Fund. Language lobbied for by advocates in order to ensure the Fund was guided by the principle of gender equality was not secured, and finance mechanisms could potentially exacerbate existing inequities in the most vulnerable regions and for the most vulnerable people. In 2011, WEDO will continue to work towards the establishment of a Fund which can provide essential resources needed to address climate change, especially for women.

  49. The new faces of climate leadership the women of COP16 … In hundreds of forums both inside the COP talks and side events as well as in venues at Klimaforum and Via Campesina.

  50. Women and men perceive the cause of climate change (including CO2 emissions) differently. In Germany, more than 50 percent of women compared to only 40 percent of men, rate climate change brought about by global warming as extremely or very dangerous. Women also believed very firmly that each individual can contribute toward protecting the climate through his/her individual actions. However, policy planning does not reflect in anyway these perceptions. By excluding women, the world loses vital input and profound knowledge—knowledge that may prove key to adapting to climate change.