Advocacy for women in climate science, information and diplomacy

Climate negotiations - Climate negotiations - Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC

UNESCO, through its Division for Gender Equality and Natural Sciences Sector, has worked to encourage States who adopted the United Nations Framework UNESCO, through its Division for Gender Equality and Natural Sciences Sector, has worked to encourage States who adopted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to effectively take into account women’s role in climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as to promote women’s rights, both in their national policies as well as in the international agreements.

It has been acknowledged in the Paris Agreement that “parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on […] gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity”. In article 7, parties also acknowledged that adaptation action should follow a gender-responsive, participatory and fully transparent approach.

The need for a gender-responsive approach was further developed through both COP22 and COP23

UNESCO will keep advocating for a more inclusive approach to climate change actions, one that recognizes women as first-hand beneficiaries and powerful change agents in COP24 in Poland.

Gender Dimensions of Weather and Climate Services

© UN Photo/Logan Abassi
Hurricane Sandy caused heavy rains and floods in Haiti in 2012.

The International Conference on the Gender Dimensions of Weather and Climate Services, organized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), UNESCO, and other partners was a landmark international forum dedicated to discuss “how to equally empower women and men to build safer, stronger and more resilient societies through the provision and use of gender-sensitive weather and climate services”. It took place from 5 to 7 November 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.

A key outcome of this Conference was the formulation of various recommendations for mainstreaming gender into weather and climate services, to enable women and men throughout the world to make equally informed decisions when it comes to food security, disaster risk reduction, water resources management, and public health in the context of changing climate. Recommendations and strategies were identified to empower women in climate science – where they represent less than one-third of professionals in meteorology and hydrology – and to enhance their overall participation in career opportunities related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Conference organizers and participants are now linked through a network on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in weather and climate-relevant science hosted by WMO. The network is facilitating the follow-up of pledges made at the Conference to increase the participation of women in climate science and policy-making processes, as well ensuring that men and women alike have access to the weather and climate information needed to formulate decisions for climate mitigation and adaptation.

The conclusions of the conference served to inform the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), and key international processes, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, UNFCCC climate negotiations (first via COP20 in Lima) and, ultimately, the review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action twenty years after its adoption.

Gender and Climate Forum

The Gender and Climate Forum was organized on 1 September 2009, as part of World Climate Conference-3 (WCC-3). In the spirit of “Delivering as One”, it was organized by UNESCO in collaboration with several UN agencies and international organizations, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The Forum explored the links between gender and climate issues in order to inform the discussions of WCC-3. It led to the adoption of a “gendered approach” to the results and outcomes of the World Climate Conference.

Back to top