Gender and Inclusion Statement
There is ample evidence to suggest that women and girls are heavily impacted by changes brought about by climate change, especially in rural communities where access to electricity is often limited. In these areas, both men and women tend to rely on agriculture and farming for their livelihoods. The increase in global temperatures and in the frequency of extreme weather events pose serious threats to rural agricultural production.
Whilst men and boys are often expected to leave the home to provide for their families, women and girls are frequently confined to the domestic sphere due to cultural norms. Globally, women have less access to education than men, often leading to fewer opportunities and an under-representation in governance. In many parts of the developing world, women spend countless hours every day collecting water and firewood for cooking, leaving them little or no time for other activities. 900 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa lack access to clean cooking solutions, and the health hazards linked to burning firewood and charcoal are extremely serious. According to the World Health Organisation, each year more than 3.8 million people, most of them women and children, die prematurely from illness attributable to household air pollution from inefficient cooking practices. Access to energy is a key driver of economic activity and social development, but nearly 760 million people around the world still live without electricity. In the domestic sphere, women play a major role in carrying out household tasks, and therefore suffer more from lack of access to energy services or clean water.
The Climate Parliament is a proud signatory of the Gender and Energy Compact, convened by UNIDO, the ENERGIA International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy, and the Global Women’s Network for the Energy Transition (GWNET). This coalition brings together governments, private sector, academia, civil society, youth and international organisations to promote a just and inclusive, and gender responsive energy transition.
The Climate Parliament fully subscribes to the aims and commitments of all signatories to promote:
a) women having equal opportunity to lead, participate in and benefit from a just, sustainable, and inclusive energy transition;
b) women having equal access to and control over sustainable energy products and services.
A key component of our strategy on this front is to research and engage key women legislators across the Global South. The Climate Parliament has engaged 38.9% women in its activities over the last three years, against an initial target of 30% (parliaments in Africa include an average of 25% women). We have dedicated a number of virtual parliamentary roundtables to gender and energy issues, and have made an effort to integrate gender issues across the thematic priorities of our projects.
The Climate Parliament recognises that:
In almost every country of the developing world, female-headed households are much less likely to have access to electricity, whether off or on-grid, than male-headed households.
As we work towards improving universal energy access to achieve SDG7, we need to look at how women are marginalised in access and use of energy and to comprehend the social, economic and health consequences of this.
The inclusion of women in the national and international decision-making processes is essential to an inclusive and therefore sustainable development strategy.
Armed with sufficient resources and recognition, women have unlimited potential in enacting change.
Women MPs play a unique role in the fight against climate change.
Equality between women and men is a human right.
Our plans for the future
An organisation can always do more regarding gender and inclusion. It is particularly important for the Climate Parliament to continue its high level of engagement with women legislators and experts. We aim to amplify these voices to a larger audience where we can. For example, each month, we will dedicate a day on our social media platforms to sharing the views of women politicians and experts on climate change, and what it means for them and their constituents. We also want to hear more about what women politicians are doing to accelerate the gender and inclusion debate in their parliaments and in their constituencies. Women-owned and -led businesses have increased access to productive resources, such as finance, sustainable energy, entrepreneurial capacity and business development services. Going forward, the Climate Parliament plans to focus on the education and engagement of women entrepreneurs in the field of climate change, facilitating an essential dialogue between them and their legislators.
If you are interested in engaging with the Climate Parliament on these issues in particular, please contact us at email@example.com