Gender equality matters in its own right, and it matters for effective climate action. World Development Report 2012 makes the case that gender equality is smart economics. Where gender analysis is applied to inform the design of responses to climate change, it can help identify ways to mitigate possible risks that may exacerbate gender inequality, and highlight opportunities to enhance positive outcomes.
- Women are disproportionately vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters and climate change where their rights and socio-economic status are not equal to those of men, and where they have less voice and influence than men in shaping policies and prioritizing how climate finance is used.. Women's rights, socio-economic status and voice can be strengthened through gender-sensitive and climate-smart development assistance.
- Empowerment of women is an important ingredient in building climate resilience. There are countless examples where empowering women to exercise leadership within their communities contributes to climate resilience, ranging from disaster preparedness in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nicaragua, to better forest governance in India and Nepal, to coping with drought in the Horn of Africa.
- Low-emissions development pathways can be more effective and more equitable where they are designed using a gender-informed approach. Billions of women around the world make decisions every day that influence the amount of carbon that is released into the atmosphere, for example as home-makers, as farmers and land-managers, or as consumers. Such choices can be expanded in ways that reduce carbon footprints while also promoting co-benefits for gender equality.
The mainstreaming of gender-sensitive approaches is starting to happen across a range of climate actions, but much more needs to be done. Much can be done to improve the effectiveness of climate finance and actions on the ground by ensuring that gender relations are taken into account in design, implementation and measurement of results. But this can only be achieved through a concerted effort to apply a gender lens in climate finance mechanisms.