WomenWatch - Information and Resources on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women

Overview: Climate Change

UN Photo
Wayuu villagers in Pessuapa, Colombia, make use of their local, ever-diminishing watering hole. Over the past years climate change has forced water shortages, particularly severe in the indigenous Wayuu's arid territory in northeast Colombia. (Photo: UN/Gill Fickling)

Rural women are disproportionately impacted by climate change due to their social roles, to the discrimination they suffer and their poverty. At the same time, they are powerful agents for promoting sustainable development and effective responses to climate change. Sustainable development demands the active participation of rural women in environmental planning, finance, budgeting and policy-making processes."

UNESCO and UNDP serve as co-managers of the Interagency Task Force on Gender Equality and Climate Change, which has enhancing the integration of gender equality into the UN system's climate change efforts as its goal. UNDP works with governments on addressing existing structural barriers to women's economic advancement and facilitating other partners to include women in environmental planning, finance, budgeting, and policy-making processes; to deliver energy and environmental services, such as clean water and mechanized power, to poor women; and to provide equal opportunities for women to participate in the green economy. FAO mainstreams gender issues into climate change policies and programmes in the agriculture and food security sectors through research, awareness raising and capacity development. FAO also works in partnership with other UN agencies to ensure that policies and approaches to address climate change do not exacerbate existing social inequalities. IFAD's climate change strategy focuses on enabling smallholder producers to build their resilience to climate change and take advantage of available mitigation incentives and funding, while contributing to policy dialogue on climate change, rural development, agriculture and food security. UN Women takes part in UN efforts and supports gender mainstreaming in climate change mitigation and adaptation, and in climate change financing. UN Women also supports rural women's voices and coping mechanisms.