Climate Change and Women’s Rights

The International Alliance of Women recognizes that climate change is among the biggest environmental and development challenges of our time, threatening the achievement of women’s human rights and IAW mission of Equal Rights and Equal Responsibilities. Climate change is having dramatic direct impacts from droughts, floods and temperature extremes, as well as, slower onset effects such as sea-level rise and reduction in crop yields that are driving indirect impacts including higher food prices and conflicts over land and water. Climate change accelerates the ongoing crisis of inequality, injustice, and poverty.

Women are powerful leaders and have a critical role in combating climate change. Women demonstrate strength and resilience in coping with the effects of climate change every day; as the main suppliers and providers of fuel, food, and water in their homes. Facing crippling impacts of climate change, women overcome many challenges spanning from their economic and social situation, such as lack of or limited access to: land rights, financial resources, clean water, energy sources, health services, education, and technology. Women are on the front lines and often have a greater stake in leading solutions that are sustainable and will benefit their children and the whole community.

IAW is working to increase the capacity and participation of IAW members on the ground in the climate change decision making processes at the national and international levels. At the climate change negotiations under the UNFCCC- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, IAW is advocating for women’s rights, building up on the successful Decision 23/CP.18, the ‘Doha Miracle’ gender decision that was agreed by all parties at COP 18 last year. Together with women’s groups and networks, IAW is going to the COP 19 in Warsaw, Poland this November 2013.