on 8th March 2018

62nd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women

Tackling climate change through the empowerment of rural women

March 12, 2018 | UN Headquarters | New York City

There is clear evidence that climate change is having gender-differentiated impacts, and in many cases is intensifying the constraints that already place rural women, especially those that are reliant on agriculture for their livelihoods, at a great disadvantage.

While climate change can exacerbate existing gender inequalities in agriculture, it can also tap into women’s vast potential, if their important role in adaptation and mitigation is fully recognized and they are provided with equal access to productive assets, markets, climate information services, technology and training. There is increasing global political commitment to address gender and climate change. In the same vein, agriculture features in over 90% Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) developed as a result of the Paris Agreement, and over 40 percent of NDCs mention gender issues.

The Gender Action Plan of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), adopted at COP23 in November seeks to mainstream gender perspectives in all mandated areas of its interventions. The requirement of gender-sensitive development impact has also become an integral condition for funding under the climate finance mechanisms under the Convention.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and its partners, CARE International, the Pacific Community (SPC) along with other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) firmly believe that harnessing rural women’s potential will significantly enhance the resilience of households, communities and agri-food systems at large.

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