A Strong Beginning Makes Way for Improved Results: Equality in Climate Finance Mechanisms

May 16, 15 A Strong Beginning Makes Way for Improved Results: Equality in Climate Finance Mechanisms

Posted by in Featured, General

Climate change is happening now and it’s happening globally–it affects everyone everywhere. However, climate change will not affect everyone equally. As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change states in its 2014 fifth official report, and as countless studies and projects have subsequently affirmed, the impacts of a changing climate will be differential–and gender will be one of the specific factors that determines acute vulnerability and ability to cope. Enabling environments for resilience demand the full participation of women and men alike and the full respect for both women’s and men’s needs and capacities. Likewise, the financial mechanisms supporting climate change action must be responsive to diverse communities’ needs. Historically, climate finance has had limited focus on and benefit for the poorest and most disadvantaged populations within developing countries, and for women in particular. This exacerbates vulnerability and climate injustice, overall reducing the resilience of nations to the impacts of climate change. However, a milestone was achieved this spring when the Green Climate Fund (GCF) became the first multilateral climate fund to recognize women’s vital role in the fight to combat climate change–before dispersing funds. The GCF is the first multilateral climate finance mechanism to have a “gender-sensitive approach” mandated before operationalization, and as of the March 2015 Board Meeting, it has met those expectations. With the approval of the GCF Gender Policy and Action Plan at the March 2015 Board Meeting, a gender-sensitive approach is now in place before the first round of projects will be approved. This unprecedented approach is now a part of the guiding principles of the GCF governing instrument and support its initiation as a fund that will shift previous expectations for climate finance mechanisms. Research shows that when it comes to solving complex problems or innovating, a diverse group of competent performers almost always outperforms a homogenous group by a significant margin. The more diverse stakeholders are, the more likely it is that they will still succeed in the face of uncertainty and ambiguity because each person categorizes based on his or her background...

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Energy Equality on Earth Day

Apr 18, 15 Energy Equality on Earth Day

Posted by in Featured, General

Each year, on April 22, people from across the globe gather to celebrate the environment, the protection of our ecosystems and all of the benefits that natural resources provide on Earth Day. This year, the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, I would like to pause and look specifically at the relationship between equality, energy and the environment. Throughout IUCN Global Gender Office’s (GGO) work on energy, one of our resounding messages has been that women must be a part of the economic, social and political transformations that come with a transition to a clean energy future. This will not only empower women, but also allow them to participate as agents of change — innovators, designers, practitioners and educators — rather than merely recipients. For more than two years now, GGO has been looking at the need to build new knowledge and guidance at the intersection of gender and large-scale renewable energy. Women often possess special skills and experiences relevant to coping with and combatting the environment’s changing climate, especially knowledge of local ecosystems, agriculture and natural resources management. Women hold great potential as entrepreneurs in clean technology and ecofriendly enterprises. Women are also disproportionately vulnerable to the hazardous effects of climate change and are often left out of technological development. The energy industry remains one of the most gender imbalanced sectors. In the non-renewable energy arenas, such as oil and gas, women’s employment makes up 10 to 20% of the sector. However, women’s employment rates in wind, solar, wave and other renewable energies are higher–at over 25 percent. Climate change interventions generally, and clean technology initiatives specifically, are unlikely to be successful without the support and involvement of women. Women must be at the forefront of the earth’s clean energy future. Evidence from other sectors suggests that integrating women into all levels of the energy value chain will lead to more effective clean energy initiatives, unlock greater return on investments, increase sustainability and expand the opportunities of reducing emissions. Research at the nexus of gender and development demonstrates...

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Environment and Gender Index Data Reveal Women’s Rights Make a Difference

Mar 10, 15 Environment and Gender Index Data Reveal Women’s Rights Make a Difference

Posted by in Featured, General, Untold Stories

Every year on March 8, International Women’s Day (IWD), the global community comes together to champion the rights of women, marking an opportunity to not just commemorate women, women’s achievements and progress toward equality, but to also take stock — to carefully study the gains made and to dig deeper into the challenges. Women continue to play an integral role in addressing the complex challenges our world faces on a daily basis — but data shows our contributions as women are still undervalued. First celebrated in the early 1900s, this year’s IWD also recognizes the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA) — a key global framework agreed to advance women’s rights and make comprehensive commitments under 12 critical areas of concern, one of them being the environment. Two decades later, BPfA remains an inspirational roadmap, illuminating the path toward a more just world, a path on which many significant steps have been taken. But how far have we come? The theme for this year’s IWD is “Make It Happen,” but how can we make it happen without tangible data to measure results? Reliable, well-founded data is essential for smart, evidence-based policy and for implementing commitments to gender equality and women’s empowerment, not least in relation to the environment. However, there is a lack of accountability and monitoring mechanisms. The IUCN Global Gender Office (GGO) has endeavored to address some of these gaps by developing a monitoring mechanism that holds institutions, countries, and conventions accountable with our Environment and Gender Index (EGI). A composite index, the EGI is the first-ever tool to track progress toward gender equality in the context of global environmental governance. Its pilot phase ranked 73 countries worldwide, along 27 dimensions, divided into six categories (Livelihood, Ecosystem, Gender-based Rights and Participation, Governance, Gender-based Education and Assets, and Country-Reported Activities) and revealed interesting strengths, weaknesses and relationships amongst ranked countries and variables, such as: – Poland ranked the highest worldwide in the ecosystem category, but lowest in the livelihood category...

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What it really means to act “like a girl”

Feb 17, 15 What it really means to act “like a girl”

Posted by in Featured, General, Untold Stories

Super Bowl XLIX drew a historic 114.5 million viewers this February, which means that millions and millions of men, women, boys, and girls saw Always’ powerful “Like a Girl” commercial. For those who missed it, the “Like a Girl” ad, and associated #LikeAGirl campaign, highlighted how vulnerable girls become as they enter adolescence and the challenges they face moving forward in maintaining self-confidence and equality with men, particularly in the athletic arena. When I saw this advertisement, I couldn’t help but think about Ana Guevara, the Mexican track and field athlete who specialised in the 400 meters and became a role model for women and girls throughout Latin America and around the world in the late 90s. During the 2004 summer Olympics in Greece, Mexico City was plastered with signs of Ana. In one of them, a young man smiled next to Ana and read, “Tell me I run like a girl. Thanks Ana.” Another poster depicted a chubby boy looking suspiciously at the camera and the text said: “Are all the girls so fast? Thanks Ana.” An additional poster in the series portrayed an adult male with the caption: “I remember when women were slow. Thank you Ana.” Ana is an awe-inspiring role model and illustration of female athletic prowess, yet there are many other positive, influential examples of what it means to do things “like a girl” that are crucial to the success of families, communities, and nations—particularly in developing countries. Women have specific roles and responsibilities that provide them learned behaviors and knowledge of their local resources and environment. Women make up 43% of the agricultural labor force in developing countries and account for an estimated two-thirds of the world’s 600 million poor livestock keepers. Women and girls collect water for their families and homesteads, globally spending 140 million hours each day to secure clean water used for essential cooking and drinking. Women’s knowledge of non-timber forest products, particularly medicinal plants and alternative food sources, means that a higher percentage of...

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Mexico as a Shining Example of Gender and Forest Policy

Nov 26, 14 Mexico as a Shining Example of Gender and Forest Policy

Posted by in Featured, General

On November 19, I was the keynote speaker at a gender conference for staff of Mexico’s National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR), presenting the importance of mainstreaming a gender perspective in the forest sector. Part of the reason I was so excited to be doing this in Mexico is because Mexico has become a leading force in mainstreaming gender. They recently published a National Development Plan (2013-2018), which established the inclusion of a gender perspective as a cross-cutting principle that must permeate Mexico’s legal framework, policies, and programs, in all areas and at every level. This is great news!ir-leasing.ru Research shows there is a strong correlation between climate change mitigation, forests and women’s participation. Forests are the greatest carbon sinks for land ecosystems; however, one of the largest sources of carbon emissions comes from human-induced deforestation, which is rapidly diminishing these sinks. The use and management of forests by people depends on their economic, social, cultural, age and gender contexts; women and men use and depend on forests differently given their gender roles and responsibilities. Environmental challenges are too huge for just part of the population to participate — these challenges need to be tackled by both men and women so that the whole community has the tools and knowledge to protect and develop their forests. Mexico is a frontrunner in integrating gender considerations into policy and planning — most recently turning an international commitment into policies and laws. This commitment has permeated communities that live in forests, many members of which are women. It is important to recognize that both women and men who live in forests are important actors in conservation initiatives, which is why it is crucial to promote actions that reduce inequality and gender gaps. Without formal land titles, women cannot access programs for equipment, infrastructure, credits, or economic benefits, such as payments for environmental services (PES). In Mexico, 19.8 percent of the 4.2 million ejidatarios (land owners) are women. At the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference...

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Two new incredible jobs

Nov 20, 14 Two new incredible jobs

Posted by in Featured, Incredible Jobs

“Ficheros” (chip dancers)PolVam I was introduced to this “sort of job” in Mexico.  The “ficheros” are an old tradition associated with dancing salons.  There is a “client” which buys chips of different value (one to two dollars). Inside the salon there are the professional or the best dancers, this could be woman or man.  The better the dancer ”fichero” the more expensive it is to pay “for a dance”. So as a client you go into the salon, choose a “fichero” and fly away in their magic dancing feet.  There is no other pleasure than a good dance. Swimming horses In my last visit to Barbados, I woke up very early one morning and saw some horses deep in the ocean.  I could not believe it, what were they doing? I run all the way down to the beach, to find out that they were at least six pure blood racing horses.  As part of their daily training, they make them swim around 1 to 2 Km. Their trainers accompany them.  It is magical to see them against the sunrise and the boats behind them. I had the pleasure of meeting one of them Kei.  Kei was so fun of the sea that she made a little dance once she got into the water.  Of course, she refused to get out, so if her trainer was not paying attention, as soon as she was asked to get of the water, she would roll in the sand, so that her poor human friend will had to take her back to the warm embracing ocean.  If I had ever been a swinging horse, I would have done the same thing.          ...

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