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Invest in Women to Tackle Climate Change and Conserve the Environment

Gender equality is critical to improving the environment and fighting for climate justice.

The first step toward tackling the challenges of climate change is to create a backdrop against which girls and women are empowered to safeguard the environment. Climate change and environmental degradation represent a great threat to poverty reduction, gender equality, and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Given many girls’ and women’s roles in agricultural production and in the collection and use of household resources, they are not only well suited to find solutions, they have a vested interest in doing so.

4 Million
An estimated 4 million people die prematurely from household air pollution each year
18.8 Million
18.8 million people were displaced because of climate-related disasters in 2017.
35%
Only 35% of environmental sector ministries have a gender focal point.
$123 Billion
Continuing to use solid fuels equals $123 billion in annual costs across health, environmental, and economic sectors.

Investing in girls and women creates a ripple effect that yields multiple benefits, not only for individual women, but also for families, communities, and countries. Evidence suggests that when women are included in climate change mitigation, they will prioritize clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food, and secure shelter for future generations.

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Accelerate Access to Resources – Land, Clean Energy, Water, and Sanitation
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Accelerate Access to Resources – Land, Clean Energy, Water, and Sanitation
Improve girls’ and women’s access to resources ― land, clean...
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Meet the Demand for Modern Contraception and Reproductive Health
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Meet the Demand for Modern Contraception and Reproductive Health
A woman’s access to modern contraception, reproductive healthcare, and the...
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Ensure Health For All
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Ensure Health For All
Healthy girls and women are the cornerstone of healthy societies.
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Dramatically Reduce Gender-Based Violence and Harmful Practices
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Dramatically Reduce Gender-Based Violence and Harmful Practices
Eliminating the threat of gender-based violence and harmful practices is...
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  • Ensure female involvement, including indigenous women and grassroots groups, in climate change negotiations and resource management.
  • Strengthen opportunities for women’s participation in climate change mitigation and adaptation processes.
  • Develop policies to address climate change that recognize gender-sensitive impacts, provide women with access to resources, and give them opportunities to participate in mitigation and adaptation processes.
  • Ensure key decision-makers understand how environmental degradation and climate change affect women differently than men.
  • Promote gender-responsive approaches to climate financing.
  • Invest in technologies and initiatives to enhance sustainable and renewable energy sources that reflect women’s knowledge, needs, and roles, while incorporating indigenous expertise and traditional practices.
  • Integrate environmental conservation strategies within family planning and women’s health programming and vice versa.
  • Prioritize the accessibility of clean energy and distribution of fuel-efficient cookstoves for refugee and displaced girls and women, including in camp settings.
  • Invest in research and program evaluations to better understand the links between cookstove and/or clean energy interventions and prevention of gender-based violence, particularly in humanitarian settings.
  • Include women in the creation of policies and strategies around environmental protection including disaster response; building resilience; securing land and inheritance rights, food, and resources; and ending energy poverty.
Explore the Policy Brief
Making Women’s Voices Heard to Advance Climate Justice: A Q&A with Mary Robinson

Making Women’s Voices Heard to Advance Climate Justice: A Q&A with Mary Robinson

Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson has been a powerful advocate for climate justice, including women’s perspectives and needs in the fight against climate change, for more than a decade. In 2010, President Robinson set up The Mary Robinson Foundation — Climate Justice, a center for thought leadership, education, and advocacy in the struggle to secure global justice for the people most vulnerable to impacts of climate change. In this Q&A, President Robinson expands on her vision for gender-sensitive climate justice.

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