Day 1 of the Regional Dialogue on Climate Resilient Growth and Development focused on gender equality and climate change finance. Here are five interesting insights from the discussions:
- Including women leads to more effective climate policies: Women carry a wealth of knowledge, especially in climate sensitive sectors such as agriculture, water and sanitation. However, due to a range of structural, socio-political reasons they are excluded from policy formulation. Therefore, apart from the imperatives of equity and social responsibility, including women in decision making is vital to ensure the effectiveness of climate and sectoral policies.
- Benefits of inclusion need to be explicit and defensible: The case for gender responsive budgeting must carry both moral and financial arguments to be well-received by financial gatekeepers and government ministries. There is a need for robust methodologies that make a compelling case for inclusion so that the cost-benefits for inclusion are explicit and defensible.
- Empowerment and capacity building must go hand in hand: Mainstreaming gender issues in climate change will be incomplete unless measures to empower women are undertaken simultaneously. Encouraging leadership, safeguarding property rights and political empowerment are essential for ensuring that a true vision of gender inclusive climate policies are brought to life.
- Gender = more that only women: When we speak of gender mainstreaming, the discourse must include all marginalised groups including children, elderly and differently abled amongst others. All these groups have differential and acute vulnerabilities of a changing climate that have been largely ignored in the mainstream policy discourse on climate change.
- Women as agents of change: Over past few years there has been a gradual shift from women being perceived as vulnerable to being active participants and solution-providers for climate action. More work is needed to ensure that policy and decision makers understand this to ensure that women are not passive subjects of gender mainstreaming but active agents of change in the quest for a more climate resilient world.