Women and Gender Constituency joint statement on SB 48



Real commitment to rights-based, gender-just solutions to climate change is imperative for the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.

The members of the Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) participated in the SB48 climate talks that took place from 30 April to 10 May 2018 in Bonn, Germany. The sessions will be resumed from 3-8 September, 2018 in Bangkok in order to finalise the Guidelines of Implementation of the Paris Agreement at COP24 in December in Katowice, Poland. Below, we have shared some key highlights from our work in Bonn.

Gender equality and human rights in the Paris Rulebook

The WGC came to Bonn with a strong call for the rights based principles that Parties already agreed upon in the Preamble of the Paris Agreement – gender equality, rights of indigenous peoples, ecosystem integrity and protection of biodiversity, respecting human rights and intergenerational equity, ensuring food security and just transition as well as public participation – that have come to be known as “The Great Eight”, to be incorporated into singled items under the APA in order for them to be operationalized.

The WGC welcomed that the new informal note, the so-called navigation tool on the guidance for the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), invites Parties to provide information on gender and rights based principles in NDC planning process. Looking towards COP24, Parties must ensure that this integration remains and that gender dimensions are strengthened across other items of the Rulebook, not only in adaptation communication (Article 7.5), but also under the respective issues negotiated by the SBI and SBSTA such as Article 6 on cooperative approaches, non-market and the sustainable development mechanisms.

“On the Paris Rulebook, we remind Parties that there can be no effective climate action unless it is people-centered, ensuring human rights, gender equality and other rights-based principles in all aspects of implementation.” Kalyani Raj- All India Women’s Conference (AIWC)

Progress under the Gender Action Plan (GAP)

In this first UNFCCC session since the adoption of the Gender Action Plan at COP23, there were positive signs and actions on this issue at SB48.

On May 2, the first full day of a two-part gender workshop, a range of Parties and stakeholders shared initial experiences with translating the GAP into national contexts and integrating it into national planning. The three thematic areas covered in the workshop were: how sex-disaggregated data can support identifying gender differentiated impacts and inform climate policy and action, gender analysis and budgeting as the foundation of gender-responsive climate policy and action, and governance and coordination mechanisms to facilitate gender-responsive climate policy and action.

On May 4, the COP23 Presidency hosted a breakfast with Heads of Delegations and National Gender and Climate Change Focal Points (FP) to discuss the needs for capacity-building and support for the gender focal points and to share experiences. To date, only 22 countries have nominated FPs, and the WGC calls on Parties to nominate their FPs and to equip them with the needed resources and competencies to effectively operate.

On May 5, a Gender Dialogue was held with the Chairs of all Constituted Bodies under the UNFCCC to discuss coherence in implementation and reporting on gender mandates and to discuss a technical paper recently produced by the UNFCCC Secretariat. It was one of the few times all the Chairs of these Bodies had the opportunity to meet, resulting in several constructive recommendations, particularly related to enhanced guidelines for mainstreaming gender in national communications.

On May 9, the second, half-day of the Gender Workshop focused on equal participation and looked at strategies and policies to enhance women’s participation in national delegations. It was emphasised during the discussion that gender balance is not just a technical requirement but that gender parity is a prerequisite for gender justice. Nevertheless, gender equality and climate justice require not only the equal participation of women and men, but the systematic assessment and integration of gender in all aspects of climate policies and action and their implementation as well as the consultation of gender experts and women and gender non-governmental organisations.

“We are pleased that there seemed to be real momentum and political will from Parties during the Bonn session to see real actions coming from the GAP, both in terms of how it relates to their own national strategies and priorities, as well as how they will be able to measure concrete results at the end of 2019. It is key to remember that as there can be no effective climate action without people-centeredness, so too must these dialogues contribute to real and meaningful climate action on the ground.”Nanna Birk, LIFE E.v.

Need for a robust scheme to operationalize the LCIPP at COP2

On May 9, the SBSTA agreed to continue considerations of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform (LCIPP) at SBSTA49 in Katowice, since no agreement on the establishment of the Facilitative Working Group (FWG) of the LCIPP could be reached. The WGC supports the Indigenous Peoples organizations (IPO) UNFCCC Constituency and looks forward to the adoption of the platform at the end of the year in Katowice and its operationalization.

“Local communities and indigenous peoples are often at the frontline of climate change and their knowledge is critical to enhance resilience and adaptation. Their rights have to be ensured in all action taken under the Convention and the Paris Agreement.” – Edna Kaptoyo, Indigenous Information Network, Kenya

‘Talanoa for Ambition’ held but ambition remains elusive

The Talanoa Dialogue originated from a plan in the works since the Paris Agreement was adopted to have a substantive discussion about global progress toward the 1.5 degree Celsius warming limit to inform Parties’ Nationally Determined Contributions, and was shaped by the COP23 Presidency of Fiji through the concept of Talanoa – a tradition focused on participatory, transparent dialogue facilitated through the art of storytelling. Designed as a discussion to catalyze ambition and appropriate action to course correct the NDCs from their trajectory of 3+ degrees of warming to 1.5 degrees, the three questions of Where are we? Where do we want to go? and How do we get there? were ultimately unable to be answered to their fullest as submissions and speakers were prohibited from detailing the actions or history of specific Parties in a mistaken effort to prioritize comfortable inclusivity at the expense of transparency. Without this reckoning with what brought us here and what must change if the failed policies of the past are not to be repeated, the Talanoa stories were incomplete.

Nevertheless, the WGC proudly shared the feminist strategies being implemented around the world to create a just and healthy planet. The WGC ‘Where are we?’ speaker, co-Focal Point Bridget Burns, shared the urgent reality of this crisis by highlighting the gap between commitments and the action necessary for limiting warming to 1.5° Celsius.

“We must never forget what we are doing here. 2018 must be a year of enhanced ambition if we are to have any chance of fulfilling the goals of the Paris Agreement. It is great that the Fiji Presidency has oriented us in the spirit of Talanoa, to speak together, to listen and to find urgent solutions. But it only works if this dialogue is truly fearless, fierce and frank. It only works if it leads to a political process centered on raising ambition, in delivering on finance commitments in a real and abundant way, and in enhancing national climate contributions. We simply have no time to waste and as women’s groups working on solutions to the climate crisis across the globe, we will hold countries’ feet to the fire in meeting the promises of Paris.”- Bridget Burns, WEDO

The WGC also called on countries to urgently lay out the political process for ensuring the Talanoa Dialogue, including clear activities at the next session in Bangkok, will lead to real enhancement of ambition, via support and stepped up NDCs, in the context of equity and justice.

Paying for loss and damage: focusing only on insurance schemes is not a solution

Climate-induced losses and damages are one of the largest threats to social justice. With the recognition that the world has to respond to this in Article 8 of the Paris Agreement, the WGC had hoped that governments would step up to real action in order to protect the most vulnerable. While the Suva Expert Dialogue that took place during the first week of SB48 could have been a meaningful mechanism to kick-off action, true commitments did not materialize. Insurance is neither an adequate nor an appropriate solution, as many affected communities cannot afford to insure themselves from climate change impacts that they did not, and are not, causing. This dialogue should reflect the urgent need to make polluters pay and come up with more creative ways to pay off the ecological debt.

Now it is time to understand what loss and damage actually means – disasters, slow onset events, non-economic losses, a threat to food security, forced migration and displacement. Gender sensitive data and gender parity in expert bodies and meetings must be at the core of the work on loss and damage to respond to the needs of women and to live up to the fact that women suffer most from the impacts of climate change.

Controversial Polish Bill creates an atmosphere of intimidation amongst civil society

With a critical advocacy agenda for integrating human rights and gender equality into the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement, members of the WGC spent time during the Bonn intersessional challenging the incoming COP24 Polish Presidency on its commitment to upholding human rights. Earlier this year, the Polish Government passed a law, commonly referred to as the ‘COP24 Bill,’ imposing limitations on assembly as well as allowing for data collection on participants to the upcoming meeting in Katowice, Poland. Hundreds of civil society groups, including feminist allies and networks that launched a ‘sign-on’ in March 2018, and UN Human Rights experts have spoken out against this bill. And in Bonn, the WGC shared its concerns directly to the Presidency as well as the UNFCCC Secretariat.

WGC member from GenderCC, Women for Climate Justice, Patricia Bohland stated, “Effectively prohibiting the freedom of assembly, among other rights, cultivates an atmosphere of intimidation and fear and reinforces the highly worrisome tendencies of shrinking spaces for civil society worldwide. The measures put in place under this bill, such as the collecting and storing of personal data about the participants at COP24 pose an immediate and disproportionate risk to those at the forefront of advocating for environmental protection and human rights.”

Further highlighting a tone and environment of intimidation, during an approved peaceful action led by the WGC and youth organizations to draw attention to this bill and the concerns of civil society, participants were not allowed to name the country of Poland, were criticized for holding a sign naming the ‘COP24 bill’ and were even reprimanded for hosting such a ‘controversial’ action. Right after the action, meters away, a dialogue for Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE)–focused on the ‘right to participation’–took place as part of the formal process.

This calls to attention an alarming trend of stifling participants from speaking truth to power in spaces of the UNFCCC, both in actions as well as in formal submissions made to the process – often rejected if they specifically name any one country. These actions effectively impose a ‘gag rule’ on pointing fingers at those who are most responsible for climate and social injustice. And this is not limited to actions from civil society but also to dialogues among Parties where, as we saw in the Talanoa Dialogue, Parties were asked to refrain from ‘naming and shaming’. Is this not the point of international policy, particularly in the context of a ‘bottom-up’ and nationally determined climate agreement with only a facilitatory compliance mechanism? If the people of the world cannot hold countries accountable, what and who will?

Certainly, the WGC will not be silent about where we are

C21ST @COP23

Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st) is on ground with other stakeholders who truely  belive in genuine solutions to address the menace of climate change at COP23.

C21st as a member of Women and Gender Constituency will work closely with the feminist bloc, Demand Climate Justice, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and ACCESS to influence  lobby  and advocate for a gender just outcomes from the COP23 negotiations.

C21st is committed to pursuing all the key demands of the Women and Gender constituency which includes,  adopt a robust  gender action plan, deliver on finance, Ensure climate solutions are gender just, promote energy democracy and protect ecological food systems among others.

Climate March 2
C21st @ the #ClimateMarch COP23


Already C21st has  participated in the climate march of 5th November, 2017 under the feminist bloc and also joined the climate warriors at the englande coal mine to offer prayers to the activists. C21st also participated in the WGC stategy meeting which held on 5th of November 2015.


WGC Strategy Meeting
WGC Strategy Meeting


There are other issues and vents  which are very important to move climate change work at the national level  in Nigeria which will be followed closely.  Some of them are; UNFCCC Gender Action Plan, Climate Law and Governance, climate Change and Agriculture, Sustainable Energy for All,  and climate Finance.


C21st will be active on twitter with important tweet messages. Watch out for our #hashtags  #MindTheGap, #WomenClimateJustice, #OurSolutions and  #WomenDefendCommons

Feminist COP 23



COP22 SBSTA Closing statement By Women and Gender Constituency

SBSTA Closing – Delivered by Daisy Emoekabu  of Centre for 21st century Issue (c21st) on Nov 14, 2016
Thank you for this opportunity to speak on behalf of the Women and Gender Constituency.
For women, agriculture, forests, and land use in general, are themes that are of crucial importance. We are the majority of the world’s food producers and play a key role in the transformative change that is needed to change current highly polluting industrial models in the agriculture, livestock and forestry sectors into genuinely sustainable and resilient land use initiatives. Such initiatives are often driven by communities on the ground, and it is important climate policies provide appropriate and adequate legal, technical and financial support for such community initiatives.
In this light, we want to express our deep concern about proposals to include agriculture, forest conservation, and land use in general, as offset opportunities in market-based mechanisms and approaches. Due to contextual inequities these market-based approaches will always lead to the marginalization of women, Indigenous Peoples, smallholders and other politically and economically marginalized actors. Moreover, land use related offsets are very unreliable and there are no accurate accounting methodologies for land use change. That is why we vehemently reject the inclusion of land use in carbon markets. We also support the concerns of certain Parties about market-based mechanisms in general.
We are particularly upset about the proposals for an international offsetting mechanism for the emissions produced by the aviation industry, probably the most rapidly growing source of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet. These proposals were deliberately developed outside the framework of the UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement, by a body that was originally established as a technical body, but which has shown clear signs of conflict of interest with the commercial interests of the aviation sector the past years. We cannot allow this body to determine the decision-making processes under the UNFCCC related to such an importance source of emissions, and the best way to deal with it.
We urge the SBSTA, and the other bodies under the Convention, to maintain its integrity and make sound recommendations and decisions based on sound science. Decisions that include a promotion of the so-called bioeconomy, or international commodity trade in agricultural products, are clearly based on commercial interests of certain business actors rather than the rights, needs and interests of common women and men, including the millions of women that produce your food. So we urge Parties to reclaim the UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement as a public instrument that should be steered by public interests based on sound science that is free from conflicts of interests of other industry influence.
Thank You

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


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!


Women demonstrating at the action

Women Strategize for Justice and sustainable future for All At COP22

On the 6th of November, a day before the official opening of COP22, Women from across the globe gathered at Radisson Blue hotel to strategize and plan advocacy activities to push their key demands within and outside the UNFCCC.

Knowing that COP22 is a key policy space where actions to implement the historic Paris agreement are going to be catalyzed, women under the leadership of the Women and Gender Constituency of the UNFCCC  had prepared  their  key  demands titled “Women Demand Real Action To Promote Human Rigths, Justice and Sustainable Future For All

Some of the key demand which women will be advocating during the COP is;

  • new decision to move forward on the progress made under the Lima Work Programme on Gender in relation to institutional coherence, capacity building and knowledge exchange, incorporate specific actions to address a lack of progress on achieving gender balance on national delegations and boards/bodies, as well as generate concrete recommendations for enhancing implementation of gender-responsive climate policy.
  • Implementation of the Paris agreement and  Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) must respect, promote and consider obligations related to human rights, including the rights of indigenous peoples, gender equality, a just transition, food security and intergenerational equity. On human rights,  gender equality  as stated in the Preamble of the Paris agreement.
  • climate finance must  be 100% gender responsive
  • Climate solutions must be gender just and should promote among other things;
  1. Equal access to benefits / equal benefits to women in all areas of energy value chain and energy democracy
  2. Empower women via enhanced accessibility, livelihood security, health including sexual and reproductive health and rights and safety and decision making in all levels by local women and men, women’s group, cooperatives and communities

COP22 is an important policy moment for women to ensure gender equality and women’s empowerment is mainstreamed in action plans to implement the Paris agreement. Thus In the next two weeks women are going to be tracking and lobbying negotiators to support these demands. Various advocacy actions will be undertaken to ensure that these demands are reflected in the overall outcomes of COP22.

Some key gender events planned  by the women and gender constituency are

  1. African Women’s Day, Wednesday,  9 November
  2. Trade / Labour   Day Friday   11 November
  3. Young feminist Day, Monday ,  14 November
  4. Indigenous Women’s day , Wednesday 16 November

Because COP22 is taking place in Africa, African women are fully on ground here in Marrakesh working with their counterparts from other parts of the world to ensure issues peculiar to their context as African women are taken into account.

Significantly 35 women from 15 African countries have been mobilized under the Women 2030 project, a project designed to measure the achievement of the SDGs on gender equality around the world to participate in COP22.

Women strategizing @ COP 22

The Women2030 project is being implemented by a consortium of women organizations which include; Women Environment Project (WEP) Global Forest Coalition (GFC), Women Engaged for Common Future (WECF) , Gender and Water Alliance (GWA) and   Asia -Pacific  Forum On Women Law and Development  (APWLD)


Over the two weeks of the COP these women are going to be raising voice for women in the negotiations and organizing to ensure that issues and concerns of women are adequately addressed in climate change policies and actions.

Women are Guardian Angels of The Climate

The first day of the COP21 climate talks was very dramatic. Right from the entrance of Le Bourget venue of COP21 climate change talks in Paris  world leaders and participants were welcomed by beautiful women dressed in angelic regalia holding key messages of peace, hope and justice for a just climate change agreement that will put the world on the pathways of resilience.

The women no doubt represents women all over the world who are craving for a climate change agreement that takes account of the needs of the most vulnerable and protect our shared humanity and planet.  The  actions of the women guardian angels resonates with  the key demands of women to the world leaders which was later unveiled at a press conference by the women and Gender Constituency (WGC) of the UNFCCC .

Women has 11 points demands which includes

  1. Governments must commit to keep warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius to prevent catastrophic climate change, in line with the principles of the Convention, namely equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR).
  2. The agreement must ensure that all climate actions, both adaptation and mitigation, respect, protect, promote and fulfil human rights, gender equality, the rights of indigenous peoples, intergenerational equity, a just transition and decent work, food security, and ecosystem integrity and resilience.20151128_163407
  3. Developed countries must do their fair share by taking the lead to close the inequitable emissions gap of current intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) and providing unconditional support to developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
  4. Governments must commit to wide-ranging ambitious and just actions pre-2020 under Workstream II.
  5. Concepts such as ‘net-zero’ or ‘carbon neutrality’ or any that encourage off-setting and unsafe technological solutions must be left out of the agreement.
  6. The long-term global goal of the agreement must articulate a sustainable pathway for urgently reducing emissions: phasing in 100% safe and sustainable renewable energy systems and wide-ranging structural and lifestyle changes – and phasing out harmful technologies and fossil fuels, in line with the principles of CBDR and equity.
  7. Adaptation approaches must be country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent.
  8. The new agreement must explicitly include a standalone section on Loss and Damage and include a mechanism to address both financial and non-monetized Loss and Damage.
  9. Technology development and transfer must be safe for people and the environment, affordable to all and gender responsive.
  10. Developed countries must provide clearly defined, new, additional, and predictable gender-responsive public finance, 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 include finance for loss and damage in addition to adaptation funding.
  11. Finally, participation in decision-making under the new agreement should be inclusive and transparent, ensuring all barriers to movement and travel for developing country participants are alleviated and that civil society has access to decision-making spaces.

The women’s demands are crucial to engender real system change that can catalyze redistribution of wealth, resources and power for a sustainable and just future.

Just as world leaders and participants at the climate talks was arrested by the messages of the women climate guardian angels at Le Bouger, the voices of those who are most impacted by climate change, including women the vulnerable, the  socially disadvantaged as well as poor should also arrest the attention of world leaders in the negotiations and inspire them to commit to a gender just  climate agreement.

Women are playing their roles as mothers of the human race and  guardian of the earth and the climate. They are saying in unison that they will not give up on our beautiful planet. They will stand up and fight for the survival of the planet.

Written by

Ms Titilope Gbemisola Akosa and Ms Edna Kaptoyo

Women Climate Justice advocates COP21


Women Climate Justice Advocates Arrive in Paris For COP21

Ahead of the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) taking off from 29th of November 2015 , the  Women climate Justice Advocates supported  by Women Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) under the Mobilizing Women for Climate Justice Program  arrived in Paris on 27th Of Novembers to strategize with the broader Women Gender Constituency  (WGC) of the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change (UNFCCC) on  how to advocate for  Gender and women  in the climate Negotiations.

with the objective of building the capacity and increasing the participation of women advocates in international climate change negotiations with a particular focus on women from civil society organizations and frontline communities who have experience with issues regarding gender equality and climate justice.

Since  September 2015, the women climate advocates have been participating in the AD Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP 2) negotiations leading up to COP 21


In Paris,  at the WGC strategy meeting the women discussed their key demands and positions on issues like, Mitigation and technology, Finance, Adaptation and loss and damage for the climate agreement. Other issues on communication, climate justice actions, side events and other events that will happen during the two weeks of the negotiations were also discussed.


The WGC agreed to participate in the Human chain event which replaced the climate march that was cancelled due to security reasons.  The Human Chain action for climate justice was successful with about 20, 000 people participating including the women advocates, Indigenous peoples, frontline communities and civil society groups.

The women climate Justice Advocates specifically had their space with the women groups displaying their banners and chanting gender and climate justice messages prepared by the women’s Global Call for Climate Justice.

The women Climate justice advocates are going to be busy throughout the negotiations lobbying country delegates and engaging delegates with the women’s demands to ensure a gender just climate agreement .

Ms Titilope Gbemisola Akosa and Ms Edna Kaptoyo are women climate Justice advocates from Africa and they will be reporting Gender and women’s issues throughout the COP21. Follow us on twitter @titiakosa,  @ednakaptoyo @c21stnigeria on facebook Centre for 21st Century Issues  and Indigenous Information Network.


Ms Titilope Gbemisola Akosa-Centre for 21st Century Issues

Ms Edna Kaptoyo- Indigenous Information Network/ International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal peoples Of the Tropical Forest


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