Provide leadership for women to fight against climate change highlighted

Women global leaders today adopted a declaration demanding the leadership of women and girls in tackling climate change issues successfully.

“We believe that tackling climate change must be closely linked to tackling gender inequalities, and agree that ensuring the leadership of women and girls is vital for global efforts to tackle climate change to be successful. “, they declared.

The declaration ‘Glasgow Women’s Leadership on Gender Equality and Climate Change’ was adopted at the High Level Panel on Women and Climate Change, which took place on the sidelines of the COP26 World Leaders’ Summit at the Scottish Pavilion in Glasgow.

The Scottish Authority and UN Women hosted the event to discuss the importance of women’s leadership in tackling climate change and its gender impacts.

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director Sima Sami Bahous, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu and Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, among others, were present at the event.

In the statement, the women leaders said: “Climate change is an urgent human rights issue that poses a serious risk to the fundamental rights to life, health, food, water and land. sanitation, decent work and an adequate standard of living for individuals and communities around the world. Climate change is exacerbating existing inequalities, including gender inequalities.

They believe that tackling climate change must be closely linked to tackling gender inequalities and agree that securing the leadership of women and girls is vital for global efforts to tackle climate change to be successful. , they said.

They felt that women and girls are generally disproportionately affected by climate change and face greater risks and burdens due to its impacts, especially in situations of poverty.

“Despite increased vulnerability to climate impacts, we recognize that women and girls have created and led innovative climate solutions at all levels. One of the great injustices of the climate crisis is that the people and countries most affected are the ones who have at least contributed to its causes, ”they said.

They continued, “We therefore call on all climate actions to recognize the differentiated impact of climate change based on factors such as age, gender, disability and location, and to ensure the voice and agency of climate change. women and girls and their full and effective participation and leadership in politics. and decision-making at community, national and international levels, and increase ambition in all sectors. “

Expressing gratitude to those who have led efforts to date at government, intergovernmental, private sector and civil society levels to advance the interests of women and girls in climate action, they said: “We recognize particularly women leaders, especially young women and girls at all levels who have championed this agenda and are committed to moving their work forward, including through increased funding, expanded partnerships and advocacy. “

Women leaders welcomed the UNFCCC agenda item addressing gender and climate change issues and Lima’s enhanced gender work program and its gender action plan agreed at the meeting. COP 25.

They said: “We hope to see great efforts from all stakeholders to implement the activities included in the GAP. “

They recognized parallel efforts to promote gender equality in climate change policies, programs and initiatives, including the United Nations Secretary-General’s initiative on gender and climate change, launched at the World Summit. on climate action 2019, and the action coalition Feminist Action for Climate Justice as part of the Generation Forum on Equality.

“We encourage all countries to commit to taking action on these important initiatives to do so before the sixty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66) in March 2022. At CSW 66, we work towards achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of policies and programs to combat climate change, the environment and disaster risk reduction ”, said they added.

Leaders agreed on the importance of achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including Sustainable Development Goal 5 on achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. “We agree that concrete actions are needed to improve the participation and leadership of women and girls in all climate actions,” they said.

The women leaders called on all leaders – women and men – both in government and in civil society – to commit to more and sustained support for women and girls’ initiatives on climate change at national levels and global initiative to make sustainable progress in meeting the challenges of the climate crisis.

The declaration will remain open for further signatures from women leaders across government, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, business and civil society until the 66th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. in March 2022.

Mara R. Wilmoth