Times up: Why women must be involved in climate action

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

April 2018

For the longest time, women have seldom or not been part of the discussion—and this includes efforts to combat climate change, as well as in other industries. But that is changing.

“Experts worldwide now recognize the important interlinkages between gender issues and climate change. To achieve maximum greenhouse gas emission reductions, women must be involved in climate change mitigation efforts,” according to a video produced by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), a Japan-based research organization.

This is the first of two videos prepared under the ADB regional technical assistance, Harnessing Climate Change Mitigation Initiatives to Benefit Women, which concluded in 2017. The purpose of the technical assistance was to mainstream gender-responsive approaches in climate change mitigation efforts in Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam. These countries, though dynamic and rapidly urbanizing, are still struggling with gender inequality. Compared to men, there are limited opportunities for women to participate in climate change responses at the policy and project implementation level.

In this video, the project team showcased why women have to be included in climate action. Also, just as significant, they focused on how opportunities for involvement could be increased and accessed, and how women could contribute to generating the multiple co-benefits of combined climate and gender interventions.

Some of the solutions they implemented included piloting gender-sensitive climate mitigation initiatives in each country (such as improving cook stoves in Cambodia and Lao PDR), tapping international funding organizations that supported both gender and climate, and bringing government representatives and funding groups into one marketplace event to spur collaboration and concrete, full-fledged projects.

Immala Inthaboualy, Director of Division for Lao PDR’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said in Lao: “This ADB project [helped] Laos start working on climate change and gender equality. It has allowed our ministry to invite the Lao Women’s Union to join the Technical Working Group on Climate Change, and also build the capacities of women so they understand about climate change and gender equality.”

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