41st Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Joint Oral Statement: Panel on Women’s rights and Climate Change

28 June 2019


Mr. President,

We (Franciscans International, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Dominicans for Justice and Peace, the World Council of Churches, Indigenous Peoples Ancestral Spiritual Council, ACT Alliance, Lutheran World Federation and the Geneva Interfaith Forum on Human Rights, Climate Change and Environment) welcome the OHCHR Analytical Study on gender-responsive climate action for the full and effective enjoyment of the rights of women.  The study comes at a critical moment in the implementation of the Paris Agreement when States are required to submit updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), presenting an important opportunity to boost ambition and uphold human rights and gender justice in climate commitments.

The study underlines that entrenched and systemic discrimination toward women and girls very often result in gender-differentiated impacts of climate change, especially on specific rights connected with access to land and other resources, food security, livelihoods, health including sexual and reproductive health, mobility, among others.

At the same time, the study points out that women – not least indigenous women who play a key role in safeguarding traditional knowledge and practices that protect the climate and ecology as a whole – are fundamental actors in attaining the sustainable development goals; and that affirming gender equity in climate measures at the very outset has the potential to catalyse low-carbon development. However, we are faced with key challenges especially  in empowering women to help shape the just transition to a low-carbon economy including by strengthening their access to land, finance, technology and other inputs.

We have a question to the panelists:

  • How can we ensure the full and equal participation and leadership of women in decision-making, planning and implementation of climate policy?

We therefore strongly support the recommendations of the report for states to:

  • Radically ramp up commitments to mitigate climate change (NDCs) as well as actions on adaptation and resilience-building with a view to curbing the impacts of climate change, and particularly to protecting women’s rights;
  • Take measures, in compliance with human rights obligations and taking into due consideration the work of the Human Rights Council, its special procedures as well as of the UN treaty bodies, within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process to ensure gender-just mitigation and adaptation, integrate human rights and gender equality into NDCs, and implement the Gender Action Plan;
  • Ensure that climate funds benefit countries most affected by climate change and systematically integrate human rights and gender equality.

Thank you.

Oral or Written: