Maria Montero

UN COP24 saw fewer women leading the …

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.

COP24 was a sausage festival this year. AP

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.

Delegates from a COP24 session on December 3, 2018_Flickr

Delegates to a COP24 session in Katowice, Poland, on December 3, 2018. Image: Flickr

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.