Climate change is not gender-neutral. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has highlighted the variations in the extent to which people are affected by climate change, and are able to adapt, depending on a number of factors, including gender. In most countries there are differences in the economic activities, access to resources and decision-making power of men and women. These gender differences affect the ways people are impacted by, and respond to, climate change.
Recognizing the importance of taking these gender differences into account, the Governing Instrument for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) specifically calls for taking a “gender-sensitive approach,” making this the first climate fund to mandate the integration of gender-based perspectives from the outset of its operations. Reinforcing the importance of this approach, COP 18 in Doha adopted a decision on promoting gender balance and improving the participation and representation of women.
Climate financing approaches will be more effective and provide broader benefits if they address rather than reinforce gender inequalities that increase the vulnerability of women to climate change and adversely affect their ability to contribute to mitigation and adaptation efforts. Women still face unequal access to political power, economic resources, legal rights, land ownership, bank credit, and technical training. The GCF can promote gender equality by establishing structures and operating procedures that are careful to include women as well as men in decision-making roles, respond to the particular needs of women for climate-related financing, and enable women’s enterprises to benefit from new low-carbon technologies and economic opportunities.
This background paper is offered by the Danish/Dutch board seat of the GCF for consideration by the members of the GCF Board. It makes good on the offer that the Danish/Dutch representative made at the first GCF Board Meeting in August 2012 in Geneva to submit a paper on how a gender-sensitive approach in the GCF can be operationalized.
The paper advocates for the explicit inclusion of gender considerations in the GCF Board’s work plan. The GCF is expected to support a fundamental paradigm shift in addressing climate change by establishing new best practices, including in its approach to gender. While there is broad support and commitment among Board members to get the gender approach right from the beginning, there is a knowledge gap about how to integrate gender considerations in the GCF structure and operations. This paper addresses this knowledge gap and provides concrete tools and recommendations, particularly in the context of Board discussions on the business model framework (BMF) for the Fund for effectively integrating gender into the GCF.
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Please note that the paper does not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the Danish board member, the Dutch alternate board member or the Danish and Dutch governments.