The emergencies of the climate change coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of the new and ongoing global conflicts affect all but not equally, the Secretary-General of the United Nations Secretary, António Guterres, said as he lamented the negative impact on women and girls.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) stated that women and children are 14 times more likely than men to die during a climate disaster.
Speaking on Monday, at the opening ceremony of the 66th Commission on the Status of Women, a global intergovernmental body dedicated to the promotion of gender equality, Mr Guterres noted that there are hardly gender considerations when policies and decisions are generally taken.
“Women’s needs and interests are often ignored and pushed aside in all policies and decisions. Only 15 per cent of environment ministers are women. Around the world, only one-third of 192 national energy frameworks include gender consideration.
“Gender considerations are rarely taken into account in climate financing. It, therefore, demonstrates once more that we live in a male-dominated world with a male-dominated culture,” he said.
For him, the “long-standing structure of patriarchy and exclusion” affirms the demonstration of the war in Ukraine.
He explained that goals cannot be realised without contributions from all, “this is why men and boys should be working for women’s rights and gender equality.”
Focus of CSW66
The 66th version of CSW takes place from 14 to 25 March 2022 in New York with the theme “Achieving Gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programs.”
Also at the opening event, the Chair, Mathu Joyini from South Africa indicated that the commission will look into the emerging issue of COVID-19 recovery for gender equality and a sustainable future.
“Climate change and environmental degradation and disasters affect society as a whole but particularly women and girls covering health and livelihoods. These effects are strongest on rural and indigenous women and girls, those in vulnerable and marginalised situations and those in conflict settings,” she added.
The outcome of this event will become agreed conclusions that will be negotiated by all member states.
Launch of inaugural Africa CSW66
For the first time since 1946, Africa joins the CSW in 2022 with 55 nations in attendance as women, Civil Society Groups and Feminists converge in Nairobi, Kenya to lend their voice to the prolonged marginalisation of the continent and the issues of its women and girls.
It is organised by the African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) in partnership with international organisations which runs from 14 to 17 March.
One of the keynote speakers, Melania Chiponda, a Zimbabwe-based Gender Justice and Climate Activist queried the notion that climate change is a natural phenomenon.
“Climate change is caused by greenhouse gas emission that comes from industries,” she said adding that the global south should take responsibility for environmental pollution.
She further tackled the discrimination and neglect in climate financing which she claimed is not accessed by poor income countries.
“Climate finance should not be loans because we don’t owe anyone anything. Also, the money is intended to invest in mitigation but we don’t want money for mitigation but adaptation that is not imported from elsewhere. We move to renewable energy on our terms which should not be profit-driven, ”Ms Chiponda said.