Gender Day at COP20

Klever Descarpontriez was on the panel for the high-level event on gender and climate change for Gender Day at COP20 last Tuesday, 9 of December 2014, representing Earth in Brackets and YOUNGO (the youth constituency).

During the panel, Klever was asked to give his views on these two questions. We are copying the transcript of the conversation that took place.

Many thanks go to our dear friend and ally, Ruth Nyambura, for her help in the crafting of the interventions.

What approaches to engage all genders in promoting gender equality have worked in practice?

It is important to recognize and applaud the great contributions of women and that the gains that have been made in terms of gender equality have been through their consistent efforts, constantly challenging the systems and the structures. In those lines I would like to highlight that we are still a long way from achieving gender equality. Spaces are still dominated by men, even in spaces that claim to be advocating for gender equality (like the UN for example) which brings us to the core of the problem; instead of analyzing and dealing with systemic problems, we have instead chosen to individualize issues as well as any successes or gains. This reflects greatly in the current state of the global conversations and actions to combat climate change, which are currently doing very little to address the root cause of the crisis and transform the systems in order to ensure a more just and equitable world for all, but most importantly for women.

We need to keep promoting inclusive spaces and, as youth, we already see what the grown-ups have contributed to the subject. Now it is important that we learn from their mistakes and build on their successes as well as strive to not replicate these systems of oppression in our very own spaces where we fight for climate justice.

Based on your assessment of recent developments and the current situation, what is your vision for the next 10 years in terms of advancing gender-responsive climate policies and actions?

It is important to frame policies and actions based on a systemic and structural analysis of the root of the climate crisis and giving specific consideration into how it affects different genders, more so women. My vision for the next 10 years would include a financial package that is delinked from markets and conditionalities that further entrench the oppressive structures that bare the poorest and most vulnerable, majority of them women, from effectively adapting and mitigating the effects of climate change. Further to this, it is essential that our greater climate policies and praxis address the pertinent issue around access to and control over natural resources, tackle the greater power relations in the social, political and economic spheres at all levels and finally binding commitments based on equity, justice and historical responsibilities as established in the UNFCCC convention.

To make this vision a reality we need comprehensive agrarian reforms, that speak to the realities of small-holder farmers, fisherfolk, indigenous people, pastoralists and other vulnerable groups, keeping in mind their vast knowledge and contribution to adapting and mitigating to the effects of climate change. We also need a clean energy system, which is governed by the principles of equity, it is decentralized and it’s in the commons.

Finally, we need a transformative approach on how women are included in policies and praxis to build a new world, that is divorced from tokenism and biological essentialism.

 

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photo credits: IISD

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