Women’s Leadership in a Green Economy: Valuing Women’s Contributions

Time: 1:30 pm
Location: Room T-10
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Contact Jeannette Gurung [email protected]

The thematic focus of this side event is twofold: first, green economy - to present ideas on how new sources of financing can be of benefit to poverty reduction and sustainable development through women's leadership; and second, the institutional framework for sustainable development - to present evidence of how existing institutional mechanisms have undervalued women's roles and contributions.

Organizing partners:

Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN)
Ministry of Forestry, Indonesia
The African Women’s Network for Community Management of Forests (REFACOF)

Introduction:

Evidence from Indonesia, Cameroon and India presented in the panel demonstrates that empowering women as resource managers and entrepreneurs presents a powerful strategy that can be used to address both local and global environment concerns. But institutional gender blindness renders women’s contributions to climate change mitigation and adaptation invisible, and therefore not valued. National climate change policies and organizations overlook women’s value, in part because of biases that exclude women as leaders. Combined with their lower levels of education, time availability, formal property rights, and technical skills, this has resulted in an exclusion of women’s interests when climate change, REDD+, or renewable energy finance decisions are made. Means of providing value for women’s contributions to sustainable development and the green economy, discussed in the event, can address the risks of further marginalising women and jeopardising environmental sustainability initiatives posed by existing climate change finance mechanisms.

Detailed programme:

The thematic focus of this side event is twofold: first, green economy - to present ideas on how new sources of financing can be of benefit to poverty reduction and sustainable development through women's leadership; and second, the institutional framework for sustainable development - to present evidence of how existing institutional mechanisms have undervalued women's roles and contributions. A panel of five women from Governments and women-led NGOs in Africa and Asia will share case experiences of how women's groups have contributed to improving the local economy and environment through their efforts to:

1. Stop men from illegal timber harvesting and develop sustainable local economic development (Yani Septiani, Ministry of Forestry, and Abidah Setyowati, WOCAN, Indonesia);

2. Market organic manure for better productivity and soil fertility management (Meena Bilgi, WOCAN, India)

3. Plant and protect a rare, multiple use forest tree, to prevent its extinction while generating an income from its nuts (Cecile Njebet, REFACOF, Cameroon)

4. Establish a mechanism that uses the voluntary carbon market to benefit women (Jeannette Gurung, WOCAN,Thailand).The contribution of this side event to the outcome of the conference is to:

  • Renew support for the objectives of equitable and sustainable development, articulated in Chapter 24 of Agenda 21 “Global Action for Women towards Sustainable Development” , as well as those of CEDAW, the MDGs and other internationally agreed policies.
  • Bring the perspectives and experiences of women and women's groups to the attention of Rio +20 Policy makers, since their voices have too often been excluded from global decisions related to the environment, climate change and sustainable development.
  • Contribute bold new innovations on how to address needs for poverty eradication and sustainable development through women's leadership.