Women and the Environment

Beijing+20 - Women and the Environment

Climate change, and its significance, is one of the greatest challenges of our time. As far back as twenty years ago, the Platform for Action called for the active participation of women in environmental decision-making as well as the inclusion of gender perspectives. One reason: women and men are affected differently by the effects of climate change. Women often need to overcome greater problems that arise in the course of climate change: they are more deeply afflicted by poverty, for example, and are denied access to land, property and education in many countries. The struggle to implement the strategic objectives of the Platform for Action in this area:

  • Involve women actively in environmental decision-making at all levels
  • Integrate gender concerns and perspectives in policies and programmes for sustainable development
  • Strengthen or establish mechanisms at the national, regional, and international levels to assess the impact of development and environmental policies on women


The UN’s 2012 Doha Climate Change Conference produced a first institutional success. Gender must now be included on every Conference of the Parties agenda. Regrettably, an explicit feminist perspective is missing from the negotiating texts for the UN climate protection processes. As a result, climate protection activists are left to continue their struggle to see the strategic objectives of the Platform for Action included and implemented. Their motto: “System Change, not Climate Change”.


Operationalizing a Gender-Sensitive Approach in the Green Climate Fund

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) has a mandate to fund mitigation and adaption action in developing countries while "taking a gender-sensitive approach."  With the Fund Board set to discuss and decide the vision, objectives and business model for the Fund, this paper makes a case for mainstreaming gender into the processes and financing of the GCF in conjunction with these decisions.

By Liane Schalatek and Katya Burns, edited by Gail Karlsson and Ana Rojas

Good to Know

  • Progress of the World's Women 2015/2016: detailed report by the UN Women on the economical barriers facing women, and strategies of improving the political participation of women on a global scale. more>>
  • Beijing Platform for Action
    Read the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action here
    An overview the Platform's 12 critical areas of concern by the UN Women. more>>
  • Women in Armed Conflicts: in the context of the CSW 59, the GWI co-hosted an event at concering a pressing issue for the Platform - women in armed conflicts. more>>


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