International Development Law Organization

Feminist climate justice: Empowering women and girls through the rule of law

Friday, 3 June 2022 (15:15 – 16:30) – Room 4, Stockholmsmässan, Stockholm, Sweden
Hybrid Event

Side event organised by the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) with the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru, and in partnership with Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), UN Women and the Generation Equality Action Coalition on Feminist Action for Climate Justice on the occasion of the Stockholm+50 international meeting.

Women and girls are at the forefront of transformative climate action. Societies with higher levels of gender equality are characterized by less deforestation, air pollution and resource loss. Evidence shows that rebalancing the governance of land and natural resources to provide equal opportunities for women enhances biodiversity preservation, strengthens food security, and promotes the health of communities. Despite this, women remain underrepresented in environmental decision-making, underfunded in climate action initiatives, and are often portrayed in climate discourse as passive victims of climate change rather than holders of unique and diverse knowledge and skills. Climate change also aggravates existing inequalities, with differing impacts on women’s human rights depending on their race, ethnicity, language, age, geographic location or nationality. A multifaceted, intersectional, feminist approach to climate action is necessary to understand how gender identities relate to the impacts of climate change and the importance of women’s participation in catalysing transformative climate action.

This discussion will focus on concrete measures and initiatives to empower women and girls in all their diversities to claim their environmental rights and advance a healthy planet for the prosperity of all. It will identify initiatives to turn global commitments into local action, to break through institutional silos, and to catalyse progress on sustainable development in the Decade of Action. In order to highlight the role of the rule of law and SDG 16 on peace, justice, and strong institutions in advancing feminist climate justice, this event will focus on the following questions:

  • What climate justice gaps and barriers do women and girls face?
  • How can the rule of law enhance climate justice for women, while advancing effective and sustainable climate action and reducing inequalities?
  • In what ways can a rule of law approach to feminist climate action catalyse progress on sustainable development in the UN Decade of Action?

The outcomes of this event will contribute to the empowerment of women and girls by championing their leadership and agency in climate and environmental governance and underlining their right to shape and fully participate in climate action initiatives at all levels. Participants from across government and society will share best practices and lessons learned to break through institutional silos, strengthen the evidence base for gender-transformative legal, policy and regulatory frameworks, and improve the capacities of states and stakeholders to design, implement, and facilitate feminist climate action approaches. It will amplify the voices of younger generations and ensure that they have a say in shaping the future of environmental action, and discuss efforts to address specific intersectional vulnerabilities that contribute to some women and girls being differently and often disproportionately affected by climate change. Panellists will also address some of the barriers to feminist climate justice, including the fact that only 3% of climate finance from bilateral donors explicitly advances gender equality, and the critical need for enhanced collection, analysis, dissemination and use of sex-disaggregated data in the design and implementation of gender-transformative laws and policies.

The event will underscore the centrality of SDG 16 and highlight related recommendations from the United Nations Secretary-General’s report on “Our Common Agenda”. It also builds on IDLO’s commitments to the Generation Equality Action Coalition on Feminist Action for Climate Justice and will be informed by, among others, IDLO’s Policy Brief on Climate Justice for Women and Girls: A Rule of Law Approach to Feminist Climate Action (2022) and Policy Brief on Climate Justice: A Rule of Law Approach for Transformative Climate Action (2021).



  • Ms Jan Beagle, Director-General, IDLO

Opening Remarks

  • H.E. Mr Modesto Montoya, Minister for the Environment, Government of Peru
  • Ms Carin Jämtin, Director-General, Sida

Interactive Panel

  • Ms Archana Soreng, Member of the UN Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change
  • Dr Omaira Bolaños, Director, Latin America and Gender Justice, RRI
  • Ms Yamide Dagnet, Director, Climate Justice, Open Society Foundations
  • Ms Lotta Sylwander, Lead Policy Specialist, Gender, Sida

Concluding Remarks

  • Ms Camila Zepeda Lizama, Director-General for Global Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Mexico
  • Ms Sarah Hendriks, Director, Policy Programme and Intergovernmental Division, UN Women