Yet another United Nations climate conference concluded this year, with plans drawn up and decisions made at COP24 to keep the world from messy, weather-induced ruin.
And like the many who came before, COP24 also saw an underrepresented woman from the global decision making process, Earther reports. COP24 saw that women make up only 37 percent of the average delegation.
From one perspective, studies have suggested that at least 75 percent of the population affected by natural disasters in recent years are women. Today there are more women than ever before, caring for families, the scarcity of basic necessities like food, water and land are major concerns for women today. Policies made by men that disproportionately affect women are unfair and unfair.
The debate is not just about the developing world. Countries like Portugal, Belgium, Spain and Ireland are guilty of sending delegations with only 40 per cent women.
The Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) highlights gender-biased statistics from the UN talks on a report. WEDO’s data reveal at last year’s climate summit the exact same thing was observed, 37 percent women.
Negotiating groups at COP24 led by women. this year it was 26 percent, a small increase from the 15 percent of groups led by women ten years ago.
The number of women participating in the UN COP has actually increased slightly over the years. WEDO research cited by Earther predicts that in the current track to gender parity, it will be 2040 before we see any real difference.
Still, equal representation is one thing, and equal participation is another. This is something that the UN recognized when it produced the Gender action plan in 2017. The report establishes among its objectives that it plans to “achieve and maintain the full, equitable and meaningful participation” of women in the work of the UNFCCC.
This sentiment resonates in statements like this in UNFCC website:
“Women commonly face greater risks and burdens from the impacts of climate change in situations of poverty, and the majority of the world’s poor are women. The unequal participation of women in decision-making processes and in labor markets it exacerbates inequalities and often prevents women from contributing fully to climate-related planning, policy-making and implementation. “
But the problem could be much deeper than simply statistics and numbers, fears Bridget Burns, Director of WEDO.
“Even when we push women into positions of power, they end up in arguments that are less powerful,” Burns saying Earther.
At the male-dominated COP24, the sheep among the wolves was the Kyrgyz delegation, with the only team of female negotiators.
“We have landslides, avalanches and floods, and women who live at home with a child are more affected by these disasters. That is why it is important to have women’s voices in the decision-making process, “said Aizada Bareiva, the group’s main voice.
In confused irony, Bereiva also confessed to having a very different notion of equality.
She considers that women are naturally less apt to handle positions of authority than men, who, “due to their nature” are better equipped to make decisions about the global economy and politics.
Bereiva added that Burns’ fears increased and that women could probably make “softer decisions,” about the weather, for example. “What matters is that the real specialists are involved,” he said.
All said and done, if the “specialists” at significant global events like COP24 are mostly men, the interests of women could be overlooked simply by design. Where global politics is part of the equation, new policies in current circumstances might be inappropriate for nearly half of the world’s people.
The gender disparity at the summit in 2018 was slightly different than it was a decade ago.
But that’s no guarantee that their voices at the UN talks next year won’t be a little louder.
2018 has been an eventful year and here is our full list of Tales of the year ender.