State of Gender Equality and Climate Change in South Asia and the Hindu Kush Himalayas – Afghanistan


Report sheds light on gender dimensions of climate change in the region

ICIMOD, UN Women and UNEP launch report on the state of gender equality and climate change in South Asia and the Hindu Kush Himalayas

Lalitpur, 29 September 2022: The International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), UN Women and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) have launched a report on “The State of Gender Equality and climate change in South Asia and the Hindu Kush Himalayan region” here today. It provides a comprehensive analysis of the gender dimensions of climate change in three key climate-affected agriculture, water and energy sectors in ten countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Maldives, Myanmar , Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Lanka – in South Asia and the Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH).

South Asia and the HKH are among the regions most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with compounded impacts becoming more evident in the scale and increased incidence of climate-related disasters in recent years. The report finds that climate change can deepen pre-existing social and gender inequalities. In her opening remarks, Izabella Koziell, Deputy Director General of ICIMOD, said: “We all have a very important role to play in making the voices of girls, women and other marginalized groups heard so that actions are real and progress is tangible. .”

Climate change has the potential to widen existing gender gaps, primarily due to women’s limited access, control and ownership over resources, participation in decision-making and freedom of choice that are determined by patriarchal values ​​and overriding social norms in the region. The report highlights the need to address these gender-based vulnerabilities and recognize the prevalence of patriarchal systems that constrain women’s role and agency in adaptation and mitigation in most countries in South Asia and Hong Kong. Kong. In addition to gender inequality, climate change has also exacerbated problems of food insecurity and poverty – some of the root causes of growing vulnerability to climate change.

The report reviewed policies in South Asia and Hong Kong countries related to gender equality and climate. All ten countries in these regions are transitioning to low-emission development pathways that integrate mitigation and adaptation solutions across all sectors, including water, energy and agriculture, and have pledged to limit global warming to 1.5°C and achieve net zero emissions by the middle. of the century. Although climate change is a central agenda, the report finds inadequate integration of gender concerns into climate change policies, laws, institutional frameworks and sectoral policies and programs – and failure to implement sound policies in principle. “To move from commitment to effective implementation, countries need evidence, data and support to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and achieve gender equality in the context of climate change. “, underlined Mozaharul Alam, Regional Coordinator, Asia Climate Change and Pacific Office, UNEP.

The report suggests using existing regional platforms and creating new ones for cross-country learning and sharing of best practices related to gender-responsive climate policies and initiatives. Important regional platforms such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) can be used effectively to promote inclusive development and combat social and gender inequalities in order to achieve climate resilience. In the region.

Based on the findings, the report offers recommendations and guidelines at the national level to effectively mainstream gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) concerns to address differential vulnerabilities in a changing climate. The assessment also offers sectoral recommendations for integrating GESI into policies and implementation in the agriculture, water and energy sectors. Maria Holtsberg, Deputy Regional Director and Head of UN Women, hopes that “the report will serve as a guide for developing innovative solutions and reimagining a future that puts women and the most marginalized groups at the center of their concerns, drawing on their knowledge. , capacities and aspirations.

The report was developed as part of the EmPower – Women for Climate Resilient Societies project jointly implemented by UN Women and UNEP and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

For more information, please contact:

ICIMOD: Anshu Pandey, Media Associate, [email protected]

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