Third WMO gender conference 2014

Organized by World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Switzerland (Geneva)

Description from PreventionWeb.net

The Gender and Climate Forum of the World Climate Conference-3 (WCC-3) concluded that the effects of weather and climate are not gender-neutral. Women and men are frequently affected differently by weather and climate impacts, and therefore could benefit from more contextualized weather and climate services for resilience building.

They should also enjoy equal access to available weather and climate information. The Forum recommended that the Global Framework for ClimateServices (GFCS) reflect a gender perspective in all its components and that the collection of gender disaggregated data be enhanced. At a time when WMO and its partners in the GFCS are forging ways to provide such user-driven, custom-tailored weather and climate information, it is essential to hear the voice of men and women, both as users and providers of climate services, with regard to their needs, gender-specific issues, and possible approaches of addressing them.

As part of the implementation of the WMO Policy on Gender Mainstreaming, this Conference will advance analysis of the gender dimension of weather and climate services. It will also amplify the decision taken at UNFCCC COP 18 to advance gender equality and improve the active participation of women in climate action. It will further be in line with the consideration of gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment in the context of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda as well as contribute to the preparations for the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing+20) in 2015.

Given the four GFCS initial priority areas, we want to generate discussion on the gender nuances of climate variability and climate change adaptation a s well as explore the ground for development of weather and climate services, taking equally into a ccount the needs of women and men in the areas of health, food, water, and disaster risk reduction. A s the examples below illustrate, there are specific ways in which women and men are affected by climate change in these sectors:

Food Security:

Women provide up to 80 per cent of agricultural labour and produce 45 to 90 per cent of domestically consumed food, depending on the region. In the context of climate change, traditional food sources become more vulnerable, and women face potential loss of income as well as harvests. Related increases in food prices make food more inaccessible to poor people, in particular to women and children whose health has been found to decline more than male health in times of food shortages.

Overall, women’s scarcer economic resources, lower adult literacy, and smaller involvement in decision-making lessen their capacity to respond in situations of environmental risk to food security. At the same time, they play an important role in terms of family subsistence and managing the risk to global food supply in the face of an unprecedented world population growth.

Disaster risk reduction:

Every year 100 million women and girls are affected by disasters. Female-headed households are often among the poorest and  most vulnerable to disaster and climate change, as they may have little choice other than to live in precarious locations such as flood-prone lands or on steep slopes.

Studies have shown that disaster mortality rates are higher for women than for men, and that this is caused by differences in vulnerability as a result of socially constructed gender roles, and inequalities between them in access to resources and decision-making power. Meanwhile, as mothers, community leaders, teachers, activists, social workers and role models, women are invaluable in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation processes.

Water Management:

Gathering and transporting water in a number of developing countries, least developed and Small Island Developing States  typically falls on women and girls, who spend up to six hours every day fetching water. A task that is taking increasingly longer as a result of climate change, especially in drought prone areas. This results in less time available for education or other socio- economic activities for women and girls decreases. The longer travelling distance further heightens the risk of being exposed to violence. Women also play an important role as educators at the family and community level on the efficient use of water  resources.

Health:

There are gender related differences in many of the health risks that are likely to be influenced by on-going climate variability and change. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), natural disasters such as droughts, floods and storms kill more  women than men. Some diseases that women and children are especially vulnerable to, such as malaria and diarrhoea, are also expected to increase in prevalence as temperatures rise or as a result of floods and water contamination. Air pollution and climate change are also tightly linked, with close to two million premature deaths caused annually, mostly of women and children in developing countries, due to the inefficient use of organic materials for cooking. There are also differences in other climate-sensitive health impacts, such as malnutrition.

Objectives:

To provide a forum for hearing the voice of women and men as users and providers of weather and climate information; - To specify the challenges that women and men face due to climate variability and change; - To propose concrete actions in the provision of weather and climate services that can address the specific needs of women and men; - To formulate new mechanisms and showcase good practices to enhance the ability of women and men to access and use weather and climate services and information.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Better understanding of gender aspects in the provision, access and use of weather and climate services for resilience
  • Firm commitments in the provision and use of gender-oriented weather and climate services in the context of the four GFCS priority areas
  • Leveraged investment for addressing the gender dimension of weather and climate services
  • Conference Statement/Recommendations to WMO and UN organisations

Additional information:

Gender at World Meteorlogical Organization
About the 3rd Conference on The Gender Dimension of Weather and Climate Services 
Conference Programme Guide
Conference Promotional Material

How to register:

Contact: Ms Assia Alexieva  World Meteorological Organization  7 bis, Avenue de la Paix  P.O. Box 2300  1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland  Tel. +41 22 730 8390   Email: aalexieva(at)wmo.int  http://www.wmo.int/gender