Women and Gender Constituency

Advocating for gender and climate justice at the UN climate change talks

Why gender in UNFCCC

Gender equality and human rights are fundamental to combating climate change. LIFE has been advocating for these principles on an international level at the UN Climate Change Conferences for many years and continues to do so. With our allies from around the world we have successfully applied for the Women and Gender Constituency in the UN climate process. Together we are advocating for gender and climate justice.

Who are members of the Women and Gender Constituency

Non-Party (Parties are the countries that have ratified the UNFCCC) participants within the UNFCCC conferences are called observers. One group of observer organisations are non-governmental organisations.

They have come together to form groups with similar interests known as Constituencies. In the UNFCCC process there are nine officially recognised Constituencies:

YOUNGOS (youth NGOs), Farmers (farmers and agricultural NGOs), Business (business and industry NGOs), ENGOS (environmental NGOs that are divided into two groups: the Climate Action Network and Climate Justice Now!), LGMA (Local Government and Municipal Authorities), IPO (Indigenous Peoples Organisations), TUNGOS (trade union NGOs), RINGOS (research and independent NGOs) as well as Women and Gender (Women and gender NGOs).

All observer organisations that are working in the field of gender equality can apply to become an official member of the Women and Gender Constituency.

How to be engaged as a Constituency in the UNFCCC process

© Birk / LIFE e.V.

Submissions

Submission are a tool for observer organisations to feed into the process their positions, experiences, knowledge and statements on a specific topic or question. Submissions are based on calls mandated from the different UNFCCC Bodies and are summarized by the Secretariat.

Interventions

Interventions are the space for observer organization to speak about their views, concerns and demands within the negotiations. They are usually allowed for in opening and closing plenaries. Sometimes interventions are also allowed for in meetings or workshops within the negotiations. However, they are often cancelled or strictly limited to 1-2 minutes due to time constraints.

Regular meetings to agree and implement our advocacy strategy

The Women and Gender Constituency organises at least two meetings per day during the negotiations: There is one meeting taken place open only for WGC member organisations where strategic decisions are taken.

The Women and Gender caucus however, is open to all allies and people interested in our topics and demands. Besides providing information and orientation about our demands and gender entry points into the negotiations – the caucus often focuses on one specific topic such as indigenous feminists, just-transition or LGBTQI to share intersectional views.

Communication about the negotiations and the UNFCCC

The members of the Women and Gender Constituency are committed to contribute to more transparency of the international climate negotiations as well as to advocate for effective and meaningful participation of civil society organisations in the process. To achieve these objectives the WGC publishes demands for the overall process and for each conference. We inform the public in press conferences and press releases about our expectations as well as results of the negotiations. On the Women and Gender Constituency website you can find resources that were created throughout the history of conferences and if you would like to receive more information you may join the WGC-advocacy e-mail list!

Gender Just Climate Solutions

© Annabel Avril / WECF

Since COP21 in Paris the Women and Gender Constituency awards gender-just grassroot climate action in three categories: technical solutions, non-technical solutions and transformative solutions. The awarded solutions vary from improving disaster risk prevention for female farmers to improving the access to land and forest titles for women.

The solutions have been already showcased four times and a selection is published in a brochure as well as in a roll-up and poster exhibition.