International Women’s Day: UN says gender equality needed in climate change fight

By on 07/03/2022 | Updated on 15/08/2023
Source: Burcu Köleli for UN Women (2022)

The United Nations has highlighted the need for greater gender equality to realise the goals of sustainability and net zero in the years ahead.

In a statement ahead of International Women’s Day, UN Women highlighted that climate change is set to have “severe and lasting impacts” on the environment and economic and social development of the world, with those who are most vulnerable and marginalised being affected the most.

“Women are increasingly being recognised as more vulnerable to climate change impacts than men, as they constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent on the natural resources which climate change threatens the most,” the statement highlighted.

However, it also said that women and girls are effective and powerful leaders and changemakers for climate adaptation and mitigation, adding: “They are involved in sustainability initiatives around the world, and their participation and leadership results in more effective climate action.”

Read more: Governments doing too little on climate change, say citizens

The UN called on governments around the world to “continue to examine the opportunities, as well as the constraints, to empower women and girls to have a voice and be equal players in decision-making related to climate change and sustainability”. This is “essential for sustainable development and greater gender equality”, and without gender equality today, a sustainable and equal future “remains beyond our reach”, the statement said.

The United Nations Observance of International Women’s Day will be marked by a high-level virtual event at 10–11.30 a.m. EST on Tuesday 8 March. The meeting will be attended by United Nations secretary general António Guterres, as well as the president of the UN General Assembly Abdulla Shahid, chair of the Commission on the Status of Women Mher Margaryan, and the executive director of UN Women Sima Sami Bahous. Gender equality and climate change activists from around the world will also participate.

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About Richard Johnstone

Richard Johnstone is the executive editor of Global Government Forum, where he helps to produce editorial analysis and insight for the title’s audience of public servants around the world. Before joining GGF, he spent nearly five years at UK-based title Civil Service World, latterly as acting editor, and has worked in public policy journalism throughout his career.

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