Thursday, December 5, 2019

Demands at COP25: Preserve the ocean

Develop effective adaptation and mitigation measures to address sea level rise, ocean warming, ocean acidification and address harmful impacts of climate change and environmental pollution on oceans and coastal ecosystems such as river deltas, estuaries, sand dunes, mangroves and coral reefs, which are in grave danger. This includes action to prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris, nutrient pollution, wastewater, solid waste discharges, plastics and microplastics into waterways and the oceans. 

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Demands at COP25: Place communities over markets

 Previous market-based mechanisms developed under the UNFCCC have failed to reduce GHG emissions and have often caused human, indigenous and women and girls’ human rights violations as well as other environmental harms. The Sustainable Development Mechanism (SDM) under Article 6 must adopt a transformative approach that moves away from the offsetting logic and be designed in a way that truly ensures GHG reduction, which enables public participation from the planning phase and empowers disadvantaged groups. Moreover, it must include binding obligations to respect human rights, gender equality, the rights of indigenous peoples, local community-led strategies, and environmental integrity and establish a grievance mechanism. 

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Demands at COP25: Effectively address loss and damage and climate-induced migrations

 The world cannot expect poor people and poor countries to pay insurance premiums for a problem they did not create. Action to address loss and damage from climate change is an independent pillar of the Paris Agreement (Article 8). Roughly a quarter of NDCs include loss and damage, and 44% of small island developing states (SIDS) refer to loss and damage in their NDCs. COP25 must accelerate and enhance the work on loss and damage, taking into account the needs of the most affected, including climate migrants. L&D finance needs to be scaled up according to common but differentiated responsibilities, historical responsibilities and respective capabilities and be channeled to the communities most affected, including women. This includes via innovative sources of finance to build a fund to specifically address loss and damage (e.g.: fossil fuel extraction levy, bunkers levy, financial transaction tax, aviation levy) that can generate significant finance independent of government budgets. Disaster risk insurance has a role to play in loss and damage and can offer benefits for dealing with extreme events, but it is limited due to the prevailing system in which SIDS, LDCs and other climate frontline states will have to pay the premiums. Insurance is also of limited value when it comes to slow onset impacts, and when disasters become so frequent that they are uninsurable.
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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Demands at COP25: Deliver on ambition, including finance

Enhanced ambition must urgently address the current gap in pledges and the dire predictions of the latest IPCC report as to where the world is headed. COP25 it the last chance for Parties for ratcheting up their ambition reflective of the promises to aim towards keeping warming under 1.5 degrees to prove the effectiveness of the Talanoa process held last year and the Climate Action Summit that took place in September.
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Demands at COP25: Deliver on a 5-year Lima Work Programme on Gender and a robust Gender Action Plan

 The Women and Gender Constituency views a comprehensive, targeted and resourced gender action plan (GAP) and a renewed and long-term Lima Work Programme (LWP) critical to urgently advance genderresponsive and human rights-based climate policy and action. The WGC maintains that the LWP and its GAP must be a means to support the overall goal of an urgent transition from a deeply unjust fossil-fuel based economy to a sustainable, just and equitable model of development that ensures women’s rights and gender equality. In reviewing the activities that Parties and observers have undertaken in implementing the two-year GAP, the WGC outlines key areas that should be renewed at COP25, new activities that require enhanced action and attention. 

See for full WGC submission on the GAP.  
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Monday, December 2, 2019

The The Women and Gender Constituency demands at COP25

At COP25, the WGC* demands Parties to:

 Deliver on a 5-year Lima Work Programme on Gender with a robust Gender Action Plan; 
 Deliver on ambition, including finance;
 Effectively address loss and damage and climate-induced migrations;
 Place communities over markets;
 Preserve the ocean;
 Ensure gender responsive action under the Koroniva Joint Work on Agriculture;
 Effectively launch implementation of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform (LCIPP);

  In the context of climate action overall, the WGC demands all actors to: 

 Ensure human rights-based and gender-just climate action;  
 Create a just and equitable transition for all;
 Ensure climate ‘solutions’ are gender-just; 
 Promote health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights;
 Break free from fossil fuels and unsafe energy systems;
 Move the money from war and dirty energy to social and environmental solutions;
 Listen to people, not profit;
 Promote energy democracy;
 Protect ecological food systems;
 Be led by ecosystem-based approaches;
 Declare Geo-engineering and BECCS as ‘No-Go’;
 Make fisheries and aquaculture sustainable;
 Know that water is life.

*The Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) is one of the nine stakeholder groups of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Established in 2009, the WGC now consists of 29 women’s and environmental civil society organizations, who are working to ensure that women’s voices and their rights are embedded in all processes and results of the UNFCCC framework, for a sustainable and just future, so that gender equality and women’s human rights are central to the ongoing discussions. As the WGC represents the voices of hundreds and thousands of people across the globe, members of the Constituency are present at each UNFCCC meeting and intersessional to work alongside the UNFCCC Secretariat, governments, civil society observers and other stakeholders to ensure that women’s rights and gender justice are core elements of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
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Thursday, November 28, 2019

10 Things Men Can Do To End Violence Against Women

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Friday, September 27, 2019

Justice for Women

Justice for women and girls is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda, with its commitment to  gender equality (SDG 5) and its promise of peaceful, just and inclusive societies (SDG 16). 

The High-level Group on Justice for Women worked to better understand common justice  problems for women, make the case for investment and identify strategies that work. 

In their report they call to action justice leaders of all countries and sectors, to accelerate implementation of the global goals for gender equality and equal access to justice for all.

Common Justice Problems for Women

Intimate Partner Violence 
The vast majority of people affected by intimate partner violence are women. The law does not protect them. Leaving an abusive relationship produces legal needs that have to be met. More than a billion women do not have legal protection from  intimate partner sexual violence.  {Source: World Bank}

Discrimination at Work
Labor legislation is often discriminatory and legal barriers to women’s entrepreneurship are pervasive, especially for married women. Women working in the informal sector are unable to protect themselves from arbitrary warrants, evictions, and confiscation of goods. Over 2.7 billion women are legally restricted from having the  same choice of jobs as men. {Source: World Bank}

Discriminatory family laws
Discriminatory practices in family life, codified into law are a major obstacle to justice for women. Divorce is one of the most common legal needs, for both women and men. In 57 countries, women do not have the same rights as men to  become the legal guardian of a child after divorce. {Source: OECD}

Unequal access to property
Women’s access and control over land is restricted by discriminatory laws and practices, which worsens the risk of poverty. Women account for about one-eighth of total land ownership in  developing countries, while representing about 43 percent  of all those working in agriculture. {Source: FAO}

Gaps in legal identity 
Women need legal identity documents - relating to property, business, housing, marriage, employment, children or immigration status - to protect their rights and access services, including access to finance and even a mobile phone. One billion people in the world face challenges in proving who they are. Over 45 percent of women lack an ID, compared to 30 percent of men, in low income countries. {Source: UNHCR- CEDAW}

Exclusion from decision making Women judges contribute to improved justice for women.  Yet women continue to be excluded from public life and senior roles, including the legal system. In 2017, only 24 percent of the constitutional court justices globally  were women. {Source: UN Women}

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Proposed action points responding to all forms of violence against women and girls

Action points

Participating States

 Establish coordinated, multisectoral response mechanisms with a sufficient capacity for service providers to deliver public services based on the specific needs of different groups of women and girls. At the same time, improve the quality of, and access to, specialized services for women and girls, including psychosocial support and shelters (free of charge). All specialized services should be accessible for all (available in minority languages) and should be integrated into the response mechanisms. 
 Inform women and girls about available services, including through easily accessible websites, and develop long-term information campaigns using innovative approaches (posters, radio, websites, public announcements) about the steps women can take to seek support.
 Ensure state-supported and/or NGO-provided legal aid.
 Train the police and judiciary on how to protect and support victims, applying a victim-centred approach and improving reporting systems (e.g., accommodating reporting in a confidential and safe way).
 Support and make available specialist support services that take into account the elevated levels of shame in relation to sexual assaults and address self-blaming and longer-term psychological consequences.

OSCE executive structures

 Contribute to a multisectoral approach to support women who have experienced violence, including by promoting better collaboration and co-ordination between security actors, the health sector and other service providers.
 Support the OSCE participating States in addressing low reporting rates of nonpartner and intimate partner violence to the police, including by sharing and reviewing different models and good practices in the OSCE region on the extent to which they protect victims and meet their needs in practice.
 Identify, collect and share good practices regarding victim/survivor protection and longer-term support for victims, including in cases of psychological violence, as well as access to justice in response to all forms of violence against women.
 Improve OSCE training manuals for security sector actors, and include the data and findings from the survey to better inform future projects and activities on all forms of violence against women and girls, including emerging forms. 
 Organize training events for the police and judiciary on practices that enhance victim’s access to justice. 
 Support participating States in developing protocols for maintaining confidentiality and providing victim support.

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