Bridging the GAP (Gender Action Plan)


This article was published in ECO, the daily newsletter written by civil society activists during UN Climate Change proceedings. FAWCO's UN Reps in Bonn are following the progress of the Gender Action Plan or GAP.  

Time to bridge the GAP!

Last November, ECO left Bonn on a hopeful note: Parties had agreed to #MindtheGAP. The what? Governments adopted the first-ever UNFCCC Gender Action Plan (GAP), another key milestone in the history of slow but steady inclusion of gender equality in the climate negotiations’ arena. 2018 is about bridging the GAP. ECO counts on Parties to seize the multiple opportunities provided at SB48 to share their successes, challenges and lessons learnt in taking gender equality into account in their climate policies and actions.

We don’t stand on an equal footing as we face climate change. Today’s gender workshop is about generating a dialogue between negotiators and observers on how data on differentiated impacts of climate change on women and men and increased civil society participation in climate decision-making can lead to more appropriate and efficient policies. ECO is aware that the adaptation window was a key entry point to talk about gender under the UNFCCC, but now it is time to also open the door all the way, for mitigation, capacity-building, and financial and technological support. Next Wednesday’s gender workshop will discuss concrete ways to enhance gender balance on national delegations. And on Saturday, chairs of the different UNFCCC bodies will sit down to see how far we’ve come regarding mainstreaming gender under the UNFCCC and how to take it forward.

ECO does not want Parties to feel overwhelmed, but inspired by the many opportunities to engage on gender! ECO would also like to remind Parties that gender inequalities remain widespread across the globe, and actions to tackle the interlinkages between gender and climate change should be the responsibility and privilege of all Parties. Six months after the adoption of the GAP, ECO strongly encourages a wide range of Parties to demonstrate their support, either through taking the lead on the implementation of certain GAP activities or by providing funding for these vital steps toward gender equality.