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How to mainstream gender in climate mitigation in 9 steps

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May 2018

Countries may have made commitments to limit global warming at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015, but implementation on the ground is said to be slow.

Whether at the national, city, or local level, governments in developing Asia find it challenging to meet targets. Most officials lack the capacity to pursue climate action and integrate measures into policies and projects, much less apply a gender lens to strengthen progress on both emissions reduction and women empowerment fronts, according to the experts behind the ADB regional technical assistance (TA), Harnessing Climate Change Mitigation Initiatives to Benefit Women.

In this video produced under the TA project, and prepared by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), IGES principal policy researcher Eric Zusman and IGES senior policy researcher So-Young Lee discuss how to tackle the triple challenge of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, improving living conditions for people (especially women), and acquiring adequate financing using a nine-step formula.


Linda Adams
Senior Social Development Specialist
Southeast Asia Urban Development and Water Division

These steps are based from implementing the TA project in Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam. It is a pragmatic guidance on gender-responsive climate mitigation, said the project team. Women, they added, have a lot to offer in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and yet their value have not been recognized before. The following steps, detailed in the video, will not only increase the knowledge and capacity of relevant officials and partners, but also point to the greater benefits of a gender-responsive, equitable development: 

  1.  Scoping and prioritizing a mitigation action. Countries have their respective climate change strategies and plans, and these include Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs). Gender or women’s needs and issues should be considered at the outset of the NAMA design.

  2. Political Endorsement. This pertains to working with a high-level cross-ministerial climate commission, since it is more effective to implement climate mitigation action that includes a women’s line agency or similar group. Also, emphasize here how funders and funding mechanisms are looking for more gender-responsive projects.

  3. Design and formulation of the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action.

  4. Political and financial approval of the NAMA. Make sure approvals for gender-responsive elements are acknowledge in policy documents. This step is also about ensuring that the political and financial support for climate action considers possible impacts and benefits for women.

  5. Submitting the NAMA to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. To gain funding and support, officials should highlight benefits for women such as creation of new jobs or development of new skills that could result from the implementation of the mitigation action.

  6. Approval by international organizations. Similar to the previous step, highlight potential streams of benefits for women for proposals to international funders like the Green Climate Fund. Mitigation proposal should include specific gender objectives, appropriate indicators, synergies between climate and gender policies, and how women will participate in the mitigation action. For specific guidance, download template proposal from this publication, Mainstreaming Gender into Climate Mitigation Activities: Guidelines for Policy Makers and Proposal Developers.

  7. Implementation of the NAMA. The key is to have close coordination between agencies, from national to local levels, and having women actively participating in every step of the implementation.

  8. MRV (Measuring, Reporting, and Verifying) framework. This is about the design of indicators and monitoring of protocols, checking if reduction and benefits for women and men happened as planned, and having a regular review of the framework to anticipate any challenges.

  9. Reporting to international donors. Governments and relevant stakeholders should ensure that the international community understands the impact of the project or action. Sharing the impacts on women empowerment could lead to similar gender-responsive approaches in other countries and contexts.

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