Monday, March 21, 2022

Report of the Expert Group Sixty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women 1/

The Expert Group Meeting (EGM) in preparation for the sixty-sixth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) considered the priority theme of “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes.” The theme is of critical significance and timeliness given the entrenchment of gender inequalities as consequence of intensifying and interlinked crises – climate change, environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, pollution, disasters and zoonotic pandemics such as COVID-19 – and the concomitant marginalization of the voice, agency, participation and leadership of women, girls and gender diverse people and their movements from policy, governance, and decision-making processes and responses to these global challenges. The Expert Group discussed the evolving normative frameworks and bodies of international, regional, national and local laws, policies, research, and practices related to the priority theme, and examined the extent to which gender has been integrated into key approaches to climate change, environment and disaster risk reduction. 

The Expert Group highlighted that the plethora of new and emerging terms and approaches in this broad arena – nature-based solutions, green economy, blue economy, green jobs, climate-smart agriculture, co-benefits, among others – merit further discussion. They may mask business-as-usual unsustainable practices or, without adherence to human rights-based, genderresponsive and socially inclusive standards and safeguards, may sidestep or ignore the knowledge and practices of women and marginalized groups across generations for the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. The EGM called for careful analysis of such approaches and practices and affirmed human rights-based and gender-transformative strategies. These strategies should seek to target the intertwined root causes of climate and environmental crises and gender inequalities, while ensuring those most affected are involved in the design and implementation of responses and solutions and equal sharing of benefits.

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