Why Do Women Need Moustaches To be heard?

On Thursday, November 10 2016 the Women and Gender Constituency of the UNFCCC hosted an interactive ACTION at COP22 to highlight institutionalized barriers to women’s participation in climate decision-making at household, community, institutional, national, regional and international levels.

Despite women’s disproportionate vulnerability to climate change, women are marginalized from climate decision-making bodies and generally do not hold positions of leadership or authority. Women and other civil society groups demand that governments and institutions ensure women’s full and equal participation in all levels of decision-making, and reach the goal of gender balance through targeted resources and capacity building efforts.

Women and other civil society organizations from around the world  are  also demanding that structures of power are transformed with participatory, rights-based decision-making processes for climate policy that are inclusive of all peoples, particularly women and men in frontline and Indigenous communities in

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the economic South and North. Women demand to be equally and fully engaged in all levels of climate change decision-making! We should not need moustaches to be heard!

 

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Women demonstrating at the action
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World Leaders Welcome Paris Climate Agreement Amidst Rejection by the Civil Society

The opposing reactions of party delegates and civil society to the new Paris climate Agreement reveals a deep divide in their aspirations and visions for the agreement.

It is ironic that while parties are congratulating themselves for a job well done the civil society is greatly disappointed and condemns the   agreement

The civil society’s grouse with the agreement is that it is  lacking in  ambition, weak and unable to protect  the most vulnerable  from the catastrophic impacts of climate change. A climate agreement that exempt developed countries from liability for loss and damage and set the world on a pathway to 3 degrees warming has little or nothing to do with protecting the people and planet.

Earlier in the day, there were various actions throughout Paris  by the civil society and other stakeholders  to demand climate justice in anticipation of the new  agreement but this did not stop the adoption of the agreement. Though some parties admit that the agreement is not perfect but they believe that it is a step forward in the fight to combat climate change.

Beyond the excitement of leaders here tonight, a lot will depend on the actions that will follow the adoption of this agreement in the following years. Whether this less perfect agreement will lead us to  a resilient, sustainable and  renewable future remains doubtful.

Statement Delivered by The Executive Director of C21st on Behalf of Women and Gender Constituency @COP21

Distinguished ministers and heads of delegations,

 

My name is Titilope Gbemisola Akosa and I am speaking on behalf of the Women and Gender Constituency. I stand before you today in solidarity representing the voices and aspirations of millions of women, children and the socially disadvantaged communities of the world,.

 

We are now at a crucial stage of the negotiationsWe cannot allow our leaders to gamble with our future. As women, we are here to stand strong on behalf of the people and the planet to pressure world leaders to do what it takes to tackle the climate change crisis by delivering a legally binding, just and gender-responsive agreement that will set the world on the path of resilience and sustainability.

 

As a woman living in the city of Lagos, in Nigeria I have witnessed how the ocean inches towards us and threatens to swallow up our habitats and lives. How irregular rainfall patterns threaten our food security, and floods destroy our livelihoods. All of it deepen social inequality. But we are not willing to play the victim game. These catastrophic situations have pushed us out of our comfort zone to be here, with our solutions, for an ambitious agreement in Paris.

 

 

Last week, world leaders gathered here to give their visions to the COP. Now it is time to ensure an ambitious and fair agreement. Therefore, it must ensure all climate actions, both adaptation and mitigation, respect promote, protect and fulfil human rights, gender equality, the rights of indigenous people, intergenerational equity, a just transition and decent work, food security and ecosystem integrity and resilience.

 

This can only be achieved if Parties commit to stay below 1.5° C degree of warming.  – in a manner which upholds the principles of the Convention, namely equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR).

 

The new agreement must acknowledge the loss of lives, cultures, and ecosystems that has already occurred and include a mechanism to address both financial and non-monetized Loss and Damage.

 

It must provide clearly defined, new, additional, and predictable gender-responsive public finance that is scaled up. , in the form of grants. The goal of $100 billion per year, must be a floor, not a ceiling, scaled up at least every five years, with a 50:50 balance between mitigation and adaptation, and finance for loss and damage in addition to adaptation funding.

 

Finally, we ask that you retain gender language in all the operative areas of the agreement.

This is our stand and we will not give up on our beautiful planet.

 

Thank you!