Statement by the Director-General Jan Beagle at the launch of the Feminist Action for Climate Justice Action Coalition - Generation Equality Forum
As an organisation that puts gender equality at the core of its mission to promote peace and sustainable development through the rule of law, IDLO is proud to support Generation Equality’s call for Feminist Action for Climate Justice.
Women and girls are often hit first, and worst, by the effects of climate change.
Access to land and natural resources, which is central to the lives and livelihoods of many women, is increasingly disrupted.
Discriminatory laws and practices mean that women and girls are less able to protect themselves, even as they face higher rates of violence during climate-related crises and instability.
And there is considerable evidence that gender inequality is making climate change worse.
Countries where women are excluded from decision-making have higher levels of environmental degradation, while having more women in policy-making positions correlates positively with reduced carbon emissions.
A rule of law based approach is key to addressing the nexus between climate change and gender inequality in three important ways:
First, people-centred justice systems can protect the environmental rights and well-being of women and girls, particularly during emergencies.
Second, effective laws and institutions can build resilience and enable the transition to more equitable and sustainable models of development.
And third, the rule of law is key to eliminating the multiple, intersecting layers of discrimination that prevent women and girls from participating equally in the fight against climate change.
This is why a gender-transformative approach to climate justice is an important part of IDLO’s new Strategic Plan.
I am pleased to reaffirm our commitment to advance feminist climate action in four critical, but often overlooked, areas:
• empowering women and girls to claim their environmental rights and participate in climate-related decision-making;
• strengthening their ability to access, and benefit from, land and other natural resources, through legal empowerment;
• working with governments and civil society to address gender-based inequalities and discrimination and support the development of gender-responsive climate laws and policies; and,
• helping build an evidence base on the effects of natural disasters on gender-based violence and women's access to justice.
Gender is a core climate issue and climate justice must be a priority for all feminists.
My colleagues and I look forward to working with you to help realise the urgent and ambitious vision of this Action Coalition, and of Generation Equality, over the next five years.
The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) enables governments and empowers people to reform laws and strengthen institutions to promote peace, justice, sustainable development and economic opportunity.