Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Women Turn Up Gender-Equity Heat at Climate Talks

In a warm-up meeting ahead of a major global-warming gathering in Bali in December, advocates pressed negotiators to include more women in the process and pay more attention to women's special expertise and exposure to climate change.

Women's perspectives and experiences must be included in international negotiations over climate change if efforts to curb global warming are to succeed, participants said at a roundtable last week on the effects of climate change on women.

Sixty government, United Nations and civil society representatives attended the meeting on Sept. 21, which aimed to influence discussions during Monday's gathering on climate change at the U.N. headquarters as part of the annual meeting of the general assembly.

"Climate change will increase existing inequalities," said Irene Dankelman, vice-chair of the Women's Environment and Development Organization, in her opening remarks at the roundtable. "Not only are women adversely impacted by climate change, they also contribute differently from men to its causes and its solutions."

The group highlighted women's disproportionate vulnerability to the types of natural disasters that climate change is expected to cause as well as women's often overlooked capacity to join mitigation efforts.

..."Women depend on natural resources for their livelihoods," said the roundtable's keynote speaker, Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former prime minister of Norway and one of the three U.N. special envoys on climate change....

From Women's eNews