The Women and Gender Constituency’s submission on the Gender Action Plan

Background: Parties and observers were asked sharing information on the implementation of the gender action plan, identifying areas of progress, areas for improvement and further work to be undertaken in subsequent action plans, as mandated in FCCC/SBI/2018/22, paragraph 104

due 8/31/2019

The Women and Gender Constituency views a comprehensive, targeted and resourced gender action plan (GAP) and a renewed and long-term Lima Work Programme (LWP) critical to urgently advance gender-responsive and human rights-based climate policy and action. The WGC maintains that the LWP and its GAP must be a means to support the overall goal of an urgent transition from a deeply unjust fossil-fuel based economy to a more sustainable, just and equitable model of development that ensures women’s human rights and gender equality. In reviewing the activities that Parties and observers have undertaken in implementation of the two-year GAP, the WGC outlines the following key areas that should be renewed at COP25 and new activity that require enhanced action and attention.

Areas of progress

Overall, activities under the Lima Work Programme and the gender action plan are viewed as creating a positive shift in the level of action, attention and support for work on the intersection of gender and climate change. It has provided a platform to channel information, research and initiatives to the UNFCCC and to participate in dialogue, learning and capacity building activities with a range of stakeholders under the Convention.

One area in particular where the Constituency views strong progress is in enhancing capacity and coherence across the Boards and Bodies of the UNFCCC in their reporting on and knowledge of gender mandates. This includes

Areas for Improvement

1. Targets, Indicators & Coherent Agenda

As a main recommendation for any next phase for work on gender, and also considered an ‘area for improvement’ the WGC finds that actions require clear targets and indicators to be able to evaluate progress, and suggests an annual progress indicator report by the Secretariat that reviews actions and initiatives to advance all gender mandates under the Convention, and provides an analysis of any gaps.

For example:

  • There should be qualitative and quantitative indicators added to the action plan to help Parties establish benchmarks for progress, particularly when it comes to implementation and access to finance, and to be able to facilitate support where gaps persist. Capacity building for a range of stakeholders on methods for gender analysis, as well as guidance to financial mechanisms on methods for advancing gender-responsive finance were two of the most discussed issues in workshops and dialogues on the gender action plan. Certainly, next phase activities should address this but indicators should be established to measure the success of these initiatives, such as, the # of countries implementing and reporting on gender related climate activities; the amount of allocated resources at national level targeting gender-related programming; the # of country planning documents with gender considerations, etc.
  • While there is a strong recognition of the need to enhance efforts towards gender balance on delegations, there are no targets against which to measure. The 2018 Gender Composition report highlighted that women as heads of delegations “in 2017 decreased from 32 per cent at COP 22 to 24 per cent at COP23 (8 percent decrease)”. The WGC therefore recommends including a progressive target, that women’s participation in delegations, and as heads of delegations, has improved by 3-5% yearly over three years, including participation rates across regional groups, as Heads of Delegations, and in UNFCCC Boards and Bodies. In addition, the WGC would recommend that national delegations and regional groups, develop and share policies or strategies being taken to enhance gender balance in their delegations and nominations to boards and bodies.

Furthermore, the WGC views that support for implementation of gender work would be further buoyed by the creation of a formal community of practice / community of experts linked to the UNFCCC to support the knowledge sharing, communications, and capacity building activities under the action plan.

In order to best serve a more action oriented structure, the WGC recommends that the Lima Work Programme and the gender action plan be considered as one broad agenda, which aims to set objectives, targets and timelines, and which contains an action plan that works to achieve these objectives.

2. Focused Capacity Building

The WGC believes the focus on capacity building is an essential part of work on gender, and Parties should renew their support for and investment in activities to enhance the capacity of all stakeholders to develop gender-responsive policies, plans and programmes on adaptation, mitigation, capacity-building, technology and finance. However, we recommend more specific targets and timelines for these initiatives, including:

  • Capacity building on conducting gender analysis, implementing gender budgeting and collecting sex and gender disagregated data and gender analysis

A key take away from the June 2019 synthesis report was that “gender and climate change expertise appears insufficient to meet the current needs of countries and other implementers.” In addition, the report concluded that while sex-disaggregated data were a critical input to gender-responsive planning, they were not a substitute for, gender analysis, gender budgeting and participatory, multi-stakeholder consultation. The activities so far under the gender action plan have been insufficient in supporting this critical need for gender and climate change expertise, particularly at national level. In addition to specific capacity building initiatives, the WGC recommends developing a roster of experts on these issues as well as supporting the leadership of grassroots and indigenous women to engage in national level processes (as detailed next.)

  • Capacity building, knowledge sharing and communication to enhance the leadership of grassroots and indigenous women, and their climate solutions

While support for grassroots and indigenous women is currently mentioned in the gender action plan, it is linked to support for participation on national delegations, which while welcome, should not be a limit to advancing support in this area. This capacity building would include support for effective engagement in national climate planning process and knowledge of, engagement in and access to climate finance flows. It could be targeted both at grassroots and indigenous women as well as towards policy-makers for information on local and traditional knowledge and experiences of climate impacts. In addition, there is good scope for joint activities with the Local Community and Indigenous Peoples Platform (LCIPP).

  • Ongoing capacity building for and information sharing among National Gender and Climate Change Focal Points (NGCCFPs)

Provide support, capacity building, and technical assistance to the National Gender and Climate Change Focal Points (NGCCFPs) in addition to the promotion of knowledge exchanges and capacity building between national machineries working on gender and environment. In addition, this should encourage the showcase of best practice examples on gender-responsive integration between and among countries to share learnings and encourage the development of shared methodologies.

  • Capacity building, knowledge sharing and communication to enhance gender responsive climate finance

The current gender action plan called for a dialogue hosted by the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF) to consider gender-responsive access to finance in the implementation of climate action. This was a particular issue raised across each of the workshops and among WGC members and not adequately featured under the GAP. The GAP should support learning, tools, and seminars on advancing the financial mechanisms of the Convention towards the provision of gender-responsive climate finance, including how to develop simplified procedures to facilitate the direct access to climate finance for grassroots women’s organizations and indigenous and local communities, as well as the integration of gender budgeting into climate finance.

  • Capacity building, knowledge sharing and communication to enhance gender responsive technology transfer and development

In order to enhance knowledge and abilities formal and non-formal education and training programmes focused on climate change information and capacity building at all levels must be increased, with a particular focus on S.T.E.M. subjects, targeting women and girls at the national, regional and local levels. Furthermore, the WGC sees a particular need to provide training to relevant stakeholders and parties on how to conduct gender responsive Technology Needs Assessments  in cooperation with UNEP-DTU Partnership and CTCN as well as to encourage and support local or national technical training programmes on technology targeted at women and women’s group. In relation to that the TEC should be requested to identify up-scalable and replicable projects with gender responsive technology integration, including from good and best practices (such as awards) of grassroots women’s climate projects, in cooperation with CTCN, the Women and Gender Constituency and other relevant stakeholders.

Further work to be undertaken in subsequent action plans

1. Just Transition

The gender action plan states that Parties should “Take into account the imperative of a just transition of the workforce when implementing the gender action plan,”. In addition, research by the ILO indicates that unless action is taken to overcome gender disparities in the industrial sector in the transition to a low-carbon economy consistent with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, by 2030, the share of women in employment will be 0.03 per cent lower globally than in a business-as-usual scenario as male-dominated industries gain prominence (e.g. renewable energy, manufacturing, construction). The WGC feels that more action under the gender action plan should focus on building capacity initiatives and learning opportunities to discuss the integration of gender into long term strategies towards low carbon economies. In this regard we would recommend a specific dialogue under the SBI focused ongender considerations in the context of just transition and decent work, and economic diversification.”

2. 2030 Agenda Coherence

The Women and Gender Constituency sees various benefits in improving coherence to the 2030 Agenda and other environmental processes. The 2030 Agenda, the Sendai Framework and the other Rio Conventions have already addressed gender responsive actions that can be used as best practice and supporting tools in particular when focusing on the increase of effectiveness occurring from coherent gender-responsive integration. The WGC therefore suggests to host joint events and learning exchanges, and collect evidence aimed towards advancing coherence between gender considerations of the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda, the Sendai Framework and the other Rio Conventions. In addition, the effects of climate change and gender on the realization of the gender goals under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs) should be assessed, identifying knowledge gaps and to facilitate knowledge exchange between gender and climate change coherent with SDGs.

Moreover the WGC recommends a call for / work towards an IPCC special report on gender and climate change.

Other Ideas to Consider

In addition, a number of ideas have been raised by Parties, UN agencies, WGC members that we support and that could be considered in your submissions, including:

  • Supplementary Guidance Note on integrating gender in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs);
  • Technical Guide on implementing gender mandates based on the Katowice Implementation Guidelines;
  • Gender balance quotas on national delegations, boards and/or bodies;
  • Development of country-level gender action plans on climate;
  • Training of trainers on gender and climate change;
  • Establish an IPCC Gender Committee & Gender Policy, including consideration of gender balance and gender-related issues in selecting authors, review editors, expert meeting participants, and reviewers;
  • Mandate to Secretariat to ensure a strategy for themselves and host countries in providing meeting facilities that consider travel safety, health considerations related to pregnancy, and family-friendly resources.