Thursday, April 28, 2011

Women must get their fair share of climate finance

Nina Somera in AlertNet: At the end of April, a committee of countries chosen to work out the details of a U.N.-backed Green Climate Fund holds its first meeting in Mexico, to discuss how to get the fund up and running. It faces some important questions: How to ensure the money goes to those more vulnerable to climate change? How to judge which projects are most effective and efficient? Where will the money come from, and who will decide where it’s allocated?

Much has been said on these fundamental issues which pit developing against developed countries. But further questions still need to be asked, particularly regarding women: What are the benefits of the Green Climate Fund to women? How to incorporate a gender perspective in decision making about the fund? How can the most vulnerable women access resources to build the resilience of their communities? How can the fund compensate women who’ve lost their few assets due to climate change?

Around the world, a large proportion of women still lack access to land, even as they contribute at least 50 percent of food production. The U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) estimates they could produce as much as 80 to 90 percent of food in some regions, including sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.

…Given the disproportionate impact of climate change on women and girls, it is critical that a substantial part of the Green Climate Fund be allocated for projects that can help them withstand and cope with the challenges they face.

…Beyond this, women’s needs should be taken into account in all projects financed by the fund. Women must also have direct access to the money without having to go through an intermediary bank, in order to avoid fees and conditions. And the procedures for submitting proposals and reports should be simple enough to encourage women's organisations to tap the fund through their national governments.

Women have a conversation in Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais state, Brazil. July 2006. Shot by Adam Jones Adam63, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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