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 Gender and Climate Change - Background

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Background on UNFCCC

2016 - Marrakech Climate Change Conference - (November)

At COP 22 and SBI 45 in Marrakech, Parties continued their consideration of issues under the Gender and Climate Change agenda item (SBI Agenda Item 16 / COP Agenda item 15). Documents that were considered included a Workshop Report the 2016 Gender Composition Report and a Miscellaneous / Add.1 document containing submissions from Parties and observer organizations on possible elements and guiding principles for continuing and enhancing the Lima work programme on gender.

In accordance with decision 23/CP.18 and decision 18/CP.20. Parties reviewed progress made towards the goals of gender balance and the implementation of gender-responsive climate policy and decided to continue and enhance the Lima work programme on gender for a period of 3 years (FCCC/SBI/2016/L.37). The pdf-icon decision (102 kB)  was adopted by the COP.

A call for submissions on views on possible elements of the gender action plan to be developed under the Lima work programme on gender was open until 25 January 2017. Parties made their submissions directly to the submissions portal. Observers sent their submissions to secretariat@unfccc.int with the subject line clearly identifying the mandate the submission refers to e.g. SBI 46: Views on possible elements of the gender action plan.

In line with decision 21/CP.22 paragraph 20, an open call for submissions is available here on the views on challenges to the full and equal participation of women in climate-related processes and activities. Based on submissions and its own research the UNFCCC secretariat will prepare a technical paper on achieving the goal of gender balance as mandated by decisions 36/CP.7, 1/CP.16 and 23/CP.18 for consideration by the Conference of the Parties at its twenty-third session.

2015 - Paris Climate Change Conference - (November)

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 was considered 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 was also considered.

In decision 1/CP.21, which annexes the Paris agreement, Parties acknowledge that "climate change is a common concern of humankind, Parties should when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity".

2015 -59th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women - (March)

The main focus of the session was on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, including current challenges that affect its implementation and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

2015 - The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action turns 20

The present report is a summary of the Secretary- General’s report (E/CN.6/2015/3) on the 20-year review and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly.

2014 - Lima United Nations Climate Change Conference - (December)

In Lima, SBI 41 continued to work under this item to further facilitate the ongoing implementation of decision 23/CP.18, 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. SBI 41 also considered the report on gender composition contained in document FCCC/CP/2014/7.

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 organized 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.

2013 - Warsaw United Nations Climate Change Conference - (November)

In Warsaw, SBI 39 adopted conclusions contained in document FCCC/SBI/2013/20 noting with appreciation the submissions made by Parties and admitted observer organizations on options and ways to advance the gender balance goal and welcoming the information provided at the in-session workshop on “Gender, Climate Change and the UNFCCC”, held on 12 November 2013. The SBI also welcomed the report by the secretariat on gender composition contained in document FCCC/CP/2013/4 and noted with concern that the majority of bodies under the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol have memberships where less than 30 per cent are women, with lows of 11–13 per cent in some cases. The SBI agreed to continue to work under this item at SBI 41.

2012 - Doha United Nations Climate Change Conference - (November)

At its eighteenth session, the COP adopted decision 23/CP.18 on promoting gender balance and improving the participation of women in UNFCCC negotiations and in the representation of Parties in bodies established pursuant to the Convention or the Kyoto Protocol. This decision marks an important step forward in advancing gender-sensitive climate policy by ensuring that women’s voices are represented in the global discussion on climate change. It does this, for example, by setting a goal of gender balance in the bodies of the Convention and the Protocol and by inviting Parties to strive for gender balance in their delegations.

2010 - The 15-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly (2000) 

The Commission on the Status of Women undertook a fifteen-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly.

2005 - UN General Assembly 60th Session - (October)

Implementation of the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women and of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, entitled "Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century".

2001 - Marrakech United Nations Climate Change Conference - (October)

The COP at its seventh session adopted decision 36/CP.7 on enhancing the participation of women at all levels of decision making related to climate change.

2000 - Five-year Review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing + 5) - (June) 

The twenty-third special session of the General Assembly on "Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century" took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 5 June to 9 June 2000 and adopted a Political Declaration and outcome document entitled "further actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action".

1996 - Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)/Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

In 1996, ECOSOC in resolution 1996/6 expanded the Commission’s mandate and decided that it should take a leading role in monitoring and reviewing progress and problems in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and in mainstreaming a gender perspective in UN activities.

pdf-icon 1995 - Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action - (September)

Adopts the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and recommends to the General Assembly of the United Nations at its fiftieth session that it endorse the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action as adopted by the Conference. more>>


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