Gender justice must be centered in COP29 outcomes

In light of the newly formed leadership committee of COP29, the Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) released a formal letter to the Presidency – alongside several UNFCCC Constituencies and over 180 civil society organizations – demanding gender justice be centered in COP29 leadership and outcomes.

The full letter can be found here and read below.



H.E. Mukhtar Babayev
COP29 President Designate

COP29 Organising Committee

Your Excellencies,

We are writing today on behalf of the Women and Gender Constituency – one of 9 official observer constituencies representing civil society under the UNFCCC, particularly at the nexus of gender, climate, and environment. We are joined in this letter by our fellow Observer constituencies, as well as over 180 civil-society organizations in our just demand for gender equality to be centered in the COP29 Presidency and outcomes. We are deeply concerned that efforts around composition of the COP29 Organising Committee indicate how gender equality in climate decision-making remains an afterthought, and furthermore, how gender equality is underappreciated as a key consideration within climate policy. The lack of intentionality with regard to women’s participation and leadership in long-term processes, and then reactive corrections without clear substantive shifts in approach, dismisses a critical ingredient for effective climate action and undermines years of professed commitment to comprehensively addressing the role of gender across climate change policymaking.

The global framework for action on climate change, including but not limited to the Paris Agreement, has firmly recognized that to be effective and truly transformative, respect for and promotion of gender equality and women’s rights must be central to climate action. Additionally, we need to ensure an intersectional approach to climate action that incorporates the needs and priorities of women in all their diversity- especially from marginalized groups, and Indigenous Peoples – coupled with a strong human rights centered approach overall.

Data shows that women are not participating equally in climate change negotiations – In 2008, they accounted for only 31% of Party delegates (with only 15% Heads of Delegations) rising to just 35% in 2022 at COP27 and 34% at COP28, despite the evidence that climate change exacerbates existing gender discriminations. We find it both unacceptable – and equally frustrating – that in 2024, such important decision-making structures in the global climate policy ecosystem continue to undermine efforts towards gender equality.

The gender imbalance of the Committee also ignores decades of efforts from advocates of the WGC from UN bodies and some progressive governments, as well as the over 130 mandates under the UNFCCC that reference women and/or gender, with 54 specifically promoting and upholding gender balance in decision-making processes at all levels.

To challenge the economic models and power structures that drive the climate crisis as much as gender and social injustice, equal and meaningful representation is a necessary step forward. Effective leadership of the COP process requires deep consideration towards outcomes that ensure a gender-responsive, equitable, just and healthy future on this planet.

We are writing for action. We request you, as COP29 President, respond to this letter and share the steps you will take to ensure gender equality is a key cross-cutting issue across all decisions – and to advance women’s leadership and gender balance in all aspects of climate change decision-making.

We, the undersigned organizations and advocates, will continue to mobilize towards gender justice in all aspects of climate action, and we demand your leadership in ensuring gender equality is centered in all aspects of COP29 decision-making.


Women & Gender Constituency (WGC)

Co-signed by Children and Youth Constituency (YOUNGO), Environmental NGOs – Climate Action Network (CAN) and Demand Climate Justice (DCJ), Trade Unions (TUNGO), Research and Independent NGOs (RINGO) and the focal points of Local Governments and Municipal Authorities (LGMA) and Business and Industry NGOs (BINGO).

As stated earlier, in addition to the above Constituencies, this letter is endorsed by over 180 networks across the world – fighting for land, life, and the integrity of the planet:

Amnesty International
ARAYARA Foundation
ART connects
Care About Climate
Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
Corporate Accountability
FACE Intergenerational Justice
Forced to Flee
Fridays for Future MAPA
Global Sustainable Futures Network (GSFN)
International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW AP)
International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs
La Verità Onlus – International Diplomacy (V.O.I.D)
Life of Pachamama
Minority Rights Group
Office against Discrimination, Racism and Intolerance (ODRI)
Oil Change International
Plan International
She Changes Climate
Society of Gender Professionals
Solar Cookers International
Soroptimist International
Soroptimist International Great Britain & Ireland (SIGBI)
The Climate Reality Project
The Hunger Project
Women Connectors
Women Deliver
Women Engage for A Common Future (WECF)
Women in Global Health
Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)
Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)
Women’s Major Group (WMG)
World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGS)

Association of Voluntary Actions for Society (AVAS), Bangladesh
Beranda Perempuan , Indonesia
CCN Climate Catalyst Network, Sri Lanka
Centre for Sustainability, Philippines
Climate Action Network Southeast Asia
Federation of Community Forest Users Nepal (FECOFUN)
Forum for Dignity Initiatives
Fundamental Human Rights Rural Development Associations (FHRRDA), Pakistan
Girl Up Savera, India
Keystone Foundation , India
Lanka Fundamental Rights Organization, Sri Lanka
National Indigenous Disabled Women Association Nepal (NIDWAN)
Naireeta Services, India
Participatory Development Action Program
Psychological Responsiveness NGO, Mongolia
Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre (SMRC), India
The Next Generation Leaders, Pakistan
Udaan Youth Club Tyodhi, India
We Are Tomorrow Global Partnership (WAT GP), India
Women and Media Collective, South Asia
Women Working Group (WWG), South East Asia

Central America
Todos Juntos por la Resiliencia Comunitaria , Guatemala
La Ruta del Clima, Costa Rica

cambiaMO | changing MObility, Spain
CliMates, France
CNCD-11.11.11, Belgium
Danish Family Planning Association, Denmark
Finnish Development NGOs (FINGO)
France Nature Environnement
Generation Climate Europe
International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
Italian Climate Network
Jeunes Ambassadeurs pour le Climat (JAC), Franc
LIFE Education Sustainability Equality e.V.
Réseau Action Climat France
Young Friends of the earth Germany (BUNDjugend), Germany

Latin America & the Caribbean
Enda Colombia
FirecircleTT To End ALL forms of Abuse, Trinidad & Tobago
Fundacion Barranquilla+20 and Women for Climate Justice Network
Latín American Youth Climate Scholarship
Organización de mujeres indígenas (ONAMIAP), Peru
Red Ecofeminista LatinoAmericano Y Del Caribe (LAC Ecofeminist Network)

Middle East & North Africa
Apeddub Association, Tunisia
Climate Action Network Arab World
Darya Developing Woman and Community, Iraq
Human Environmental Association for Development (HEAD), Lebanon
L’union de L Action Féministe /Arab CSOs Women’s Network
Arab Youth Green Voices Network
Greenish, Egypt
Young Arab Feminists Coalition

North America
Climate Action for Lifelong Learners (CALL), Canada
EnGen Collaborative, US
Grandmothers Advocacy Network, Canada
Heinrich Boell Foundation Washington, US
MN Interfaith Power & Light- Environmental Justice Movement, US
The Resiliency Initiative, US
U.S. Climate Action Network, US
North American Climate, Conservation and Environment(NACCE), US
WISE Planet At the University of Calgary, Canada


BIMBA, Kiribati
Carterets Islands, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea
Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM)
Fiji Youth SRHR Alliance

South America
Asociación Ciudadana Por Los Derechos Humanos, Argentina
Associação de Jovens Engajamundo, Brazil
ARAYARA International Institute
Climate Reality Project Brasil
COESUS – No Fracking Brazil Coalition
Fundação SOS Mata Atlântica, Brazil
Imaflora, Brazil
Instituto Sociedade, População e Natureza – ISPN, Brazil
Instituto 5 Elementos – Educação para a Sustentabilidade
International Institute of Education Brazil
Mineral Coal Observatory (OCM), Brazil
Observatório do Clima, Brazil
Oil and Gas Observatory (OPG), Brazil
Pro Forest Management Institute, Brazil
Red de Defensoras Del Ambiente Y El Buen Vivir, Argentina
Rede Jandyras, Brazil
Servicio Desarrollo Rural y Agricola (SEDRA), Chile
Uma Gota No Oceano, Brazil
Youth Group at the National Climate Commission, Peru
Wings for Amazon, Ecuador

Sub-Saharan Africa
Abantu for Development
AbibiNsroma Foundation, Ghana
Action des Femmes pour la Promotion de la Sante, l’Éducation et le Développement, DRC
Action Group for the Development of Women and Girls (GAEF), Benin
Africa Women Leaders Network, Ghana
Africa Women & Gender Constituency
Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA), East Africa
Amis des Etrangers au Togo, Togo
Association Against Child Sexual and Gender Based Violence, Nigeria
Association des Femmes Vulnérables du Burundi, Burundi
Association pour la Conservation et la Protection des Écosystèmes des Lacs et l’Agriculture Durable
Awake Youth Relief Agency, Uganda
Basic Rights Watch (BRW), Nigeria
Cadire Cameroon Association
Cameron Gender and Environment Watch (CAMGEW)
Centre for Climatology and Applied Research
Centre for Healthworks, Development and Research Initiative (CHEDRES), Nigeria
Climate Action Network Zambia
Climate Action Network Zimbabwe
Climate Clock DRC, Democratic Republic of Congo
CNETZERO DRC,Democratic Republic of Congo
Community Action for Health & Development , Kenya
Development Impact Pathfinders Initiative, Nigeria
Disability People’s Forum, Uganda
Emmaus International
Fridays for Future Sierra leone
Grupo para o Desenvolvimento da Mulher e Rapariga (Group for the Development of Women and Girls – GDMR), Mozambique
Global Health Awareness Research Foundation (GHARF), Nigeria
Global Learning for Sustainability, Uganda
Global River Protection Coalition
Green Canopy Enviro-Care, Zimbabwe
Green Environment and Climate Change Initiative (GECCI), Nigeria
Green Legacy Initiative Network (GLIN), Kenya
Green Thinkers Integrated Community Development Organization, Ethiopia
Groupe d’Etudes Multisectorielles pour le Développement Intégré, GEMUDI e sigle, Democratic Republic of Congo
IFESIDDI, Democratic Republic of Congo
Kalkal Human Rights Development Organization, Somalia
Kikandwa Environmental Association (KEA), Uganda
Legal Resources Foundation Trust, Kenya
Okogun Odigie Safewomb International Foundation
ONG Plus de Sida dans les Familles, Gabon
Réseau des Femmes pour le Développement Durable en Afrique
Solidarité des Femmes Pour Le Bien Être Social et le Progrès Au Burundi
Southern Africa Climate Change Coalition
Strategic Youth Network for Development Ghana
The African Women’s Network for Community management of Forests – REFACOF
Uasin Gishu County Peace Club of Kenya
Village Farmers Initiative (VFI), Nigeria
Women And Children’s Empowerment Network in Africa, Uganda
Woman in Renewable Energy Association Nigeria, Nigeria
Women Environmental Programme (WEP)
Wote Youth Development Projects CBO
Young Professionals in Policy and Development (YouPaD), Nigeria
Youth and Women for Change in Eswatini
Youth Climate Action Coalition Mozambique,
Zimbabwe Climate Change Coalition, Zimbabwe