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Gender and Climate Change


Gender and Climate Change: What is the connection?

Impacts of climate change, such as drought, floods, extreme weather events and reduced food and water security, affect women and men differently with the poorest being the most vulnerable. 70 per cent of the world’s poor are women. Even though women are therefore disproportionately affected, at the same time they play a crucial role in climate change adaptation and mitigation actions. It is increasingly evident that involving women and men in all decision-making processes on climate action is a significant factor in meeting the climate challenge and achieving the long-term objectives of the Convention.

Why is this important?

Women are predominantly responsible for food production, household water supply and energy for heating and cooking. As climate change impacts increase, these tasks are becoming more difficult. However, women have knowledge and coping strategies that give them a practical understanding of innovation and skills to adapt to changing environmental realities as well as to contribute to the solution. These strategies to deal with climate variability are still a largely untapped resource. Additionally, women are often faced with difficulties when it comes to the general accessibility of financial resources, capacity-building activities and technologies. This often stands in the way of women’s empowerment in general and their role in relation to climate change adaptation and mitigation in particular. Women also tend to be underrepresented in the decision-making on climate change at all levels. This severely limits their ability to contribute and implement solutions and apply their expertise.

More on UNFCCC Gender and Climate Change work
Negotiations Inter-linkages Outreach


Paris, United Nations Climate Change Conference, November 2015

In accordance with decision 18/CP.20, the report on the in-session workshop on gender-responsive climate policy with a focus on mitigation action and technology development and transfer has been prepared for consideration by the SBI at its forty-third session in Paris. In addition, in accordance with decision 23/CP.18, the  Gender Composition Report for 2015 has been prepared by the secretariat for consideration by the COP.

See here for information on gender events and Gender Day at COP21/CMP 11.

Bonn, June 2015, In-session workshop on gender-responsive climate policy with a focus on mitigation action and technology development and transfer.

FCCC/SBI/2015/12 - In-session workshop report

pdf-icon Agenda (553 kB)
Click here for presentations

Lima United Nations Climate Change Conference, December 2014

In Lima, in 2014, the COP adopted decision 18/CP.20, which further facilitates the implementation of decision 23/CP18, drawing on submissions made by Parties and admitted observer organizations on options and ways to advance the gender balance goal, information provided at the in-session workshop on “Gender, Climate Change and the UNFCCC”, held on 12 November 2013 in Warsaw, Poland, and proposals contained in the annex to document FCCC/SBI/2013/L.16.

As per paragraphs 11 and 13 of decision 18/CP.20, the secretariat will organize an in-session workshop on gender-responsive climate policy with a focus on mitigation action and technology development and transfer at the forty-second session of the SBI in June 2015, taking into account submissions from Parties and admitted observer organizations.

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Gender and adaptation
Integrating considerations of gender into medium- and long-term adaptation can help to ensure that adaptation is effective and implementable on the ground. It can help to ensure that the implementation of adaptation activities will not exacerbate inequalities and other vulnerabilities, it can help to fulfil the specific needs of the most vulnerable, and it can ensure the equal participation of men and women in the decision-making and implementation phases of these activities. Women can act as agents of change at different levels of the adaptation process.

Gender and financial support
A gender perspective needs to be taken into account when developing resource mobilization strategies, applying climate finance instruments, and ensuring equal participation in the deployment of financial resources, particularly at the local level.

Gender and mitigation
Action to mitigate climate change has the potential to also bring about local gender-positive impacts. This may be achieved by the general nature of a mitigation project or programme, such as clean energy for household lighting or cooking, or by gender equity impacts being specifically considered early in the project planning stage e.g. considering where revenues will flow. Projects under the Kyoto Protocol's flexible mechanisms, CDM and JI, have shown themselves to have potentially positive impacts on the lives of women – by improving livelihoods and health and allowing time for the pursuit of additional opportunities.

Gender and technology support
The development and transfer of environmentally sound technologies represent an opportunity to increase efforts on gender mainstreaming with regard to technology access and information and training on the use of appropriate technologies.

Gender and capacity-building support
A gender-sensitive approach to creating, developing and strengthening institutional, systemic and human-resource capacity-building can foster gender balance in decision-making on, delivery of and access to means and tools of implementation for mitigation of adaptation actions.


Gender Day, Paris, United Nations Climate Change Conference, November 2015
UNFCCC Gender Day @ COP 21/CMP 11 will be held on 8 December 2015 in the Le Bourget Conference Centre. On 9 December 2015, Gender Day @ Rio Conventions will be held at the Rio Conventions Pavilion in the Climate Generations Areas


Gender Day, Lima, United Nations Climate Change Conference, December 2014
Gender Day was held on 9 December 2014. The day was filled with many events organized by a variety of different stakeholders, including a high level dialogue, discussions on women’s leadership role in climate action and multiple interviews hosted by the Climate Change Studio. Gender focused activities then continued the following day, December 10, 2014.

Gender Equality