A woman from India. Women are often overlooked when it comes to talks about climate change adaptation and mitigation. Photo by: Neil Palmer / CIAT / CC BY-SA

Donors’ support for climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts in developing countries lacks a key dimension: focus on women.

This is according to Mariama Wiliams senior fellow at Switzerland-based think tank South Centre. Donors, despite talk of channeling climate finance toward the most-affected population, often overlook women, Williams said, as noted by Rebekah Curtis in a TrustLaw blog.

It is important for climate financing to have a “gender dimension” because women are “very much” affected by climate change, Williams stressed at a women’s rights conference held April 19 in Turkey. Climate change effects also often aggravate gender discrimination, especially during disasters, she added. Women are often the last to leave their homes during disasters and usually have little access to information, Williams noted.

Alternatively, women are important actors in climate change mitigation efforts, Williams said. She explained that most activities of women in developing countries are “cheap forms of mitigation that we need to upscale and encourage and put more money in.”

Williams suggested a number of ways to make climate change financing more gender-balanced: develop programs that will help women-led organizations manage and implement climate change initiatives, more active lobbying by gender advocates, and develop gender impact assessment studies of ongoing and future climate change initiatives.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.