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Woman and Gender Constituency Pre-Conference Workshop on Women, Climate Change and Advocacy

Before the conference, Stacey Kimmig (AIWC Cologne) attended a workshop on gender justice in international climate politics to introduce advocacy at the Climate Change Conference. The workshop included activists from around the world from organizations which have joined together as the Women and Gender Constituency (WGC). The Constituency increases each group’s voice on gender issues relating to climate change. The workshop brought the different NGOs together to discuss important issues and share knowledge so that all are informed on gender issues as they relate to the different climate topics covered at the UNFCCC.

The specific topics covered at the workshop were the sustainable development mechanism, loss and damage, deforestation, energy democracy and food sovereignty. We discussed the specific gender-related issues for each topic. For example, deforestation not only affects the environment, it also increases violence against women. As male workers are brought in from other areas, prostitution and incidences of rape significantly increase. This climate issue disproportionately affects women, and gender issues must be carefully considered when proposing a solution to slow climate change. A solution to stop deforestation by declaring the forest a national park forces women, whose job it is to gather firewood, to search more hours each day for the necessary resource.

The WGC will work together to raise awareness of the impacts on women of climate change, and will help to ensure that climate change solutions proposed will not disadvantage women.

It was a full day of learning about the unfair burden women bear from climate change and the danger that solutions could have the same effect. Stacey felt more prepared on the issues to be addressed at the UN conference, and met many amazing people who together will work to ensure that gender issues related to climate are heard by our world leaders.

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