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Mainstreaming gender

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The impacts of climate change affect women and men differently. Women are the hardest hit by dramatic shifts in climatic conditions. Women’s mortality from climate-related disasters is higher than that of men. Compared to men, domestic burdens (e.g. collection of firewood and water) of women increase substantially with various manifestations of climate change.

Women tend to rely more on natural resources for their livelihood. Any decline in land and biomass productivity affects women more than men, especially in rural areas. In urban areas, after climate-related disasters, it is harder for poor women than for poor men to recover their economic status and welfare. Women, as well as men, significantly contribute to combating climate change as knowledgeable small-scale farmers and leaders of climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives.

What is GCF doing to address the gender dimensions of climate change?

The Green Climate Fund is the first climate finance mechanism to mainstream gender perspectives from the outset of its operations as an essential decision-making element for the deployment of its resources. GCF has placed gender as a key element of its programming architecture, and its commitment to gender equality centres on gender-responsive climate action programmes and projects that benefit women and men.

Gender mainstreaming is central to the GCF’s objectives and guiding principles, including through engaging women and men of all ages as stakeholders in the design, development and implementation of strategies and activities to be financed. The GCF Governing Instrument states that: “The Fund will strive to maximize the impact of its funding for adaptation and mitigation … promoting environmental, social, economic and development co-benefits and taking a gender-sensitive approach.”

Thus, gender equality considerations should be mainstreamed into the entire project cycle to enhance the efficacy of climate change mitigation and adaptation interventions, and ensure that gender co-benefits are obtained. This applies to all projects, not only those intended from the outset to center on women or to have a gender focus. Gender mainstreaming is fundamental to any project intervention and does not necessarily signify additional costs; in fact, mainstreaming gender makes climate interventions more effective and efficient.