COP27: On Gender Day African Development Bank rallies global support for women to build climate resilience

A panel discussion held on “Gender Day” at the COP27 in Egypt, featured Mary Robinson, former Irish president in its headline. Ms. Robinson demanded a climate fund, dedicated specifically to assist women in grassroots districts win their fight against climate change, and enhance adaptability.

The session themed “Gender Sensitive and climate just finance mechanisms” was organized by the African development bank during the COP27, through which the panel participants urged the necessity to make the facilities customized to support women handy and attainable.

“There is a problem about the visibility, transparency and accountability, and although there is some money floating around, we don’t have a properly dedicated climate fund or a permanent climate fund to support women entrepreneurs in combating climate change,” said the former president, sharing her thoughts.

Showcasing several women-led projects, she illustrated how having easy access to chosen climate resources would boost the productivity of these projects; she added “They had no prospects of getting the money that could be available for their sector – they didn’t even know who was getting the money or where it was going.”

Kevin Kariuki, African Development Bank Group Vice President Vice for Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, opened the session by mentioning that the bank has initiated the fund for no less than ten capacity building project, all targeting gender and climate through the Africa Climate Change.

He proceeded “Moreover, we are committing $100 million in loans to public and private sector projects to address gender and climate issues,” adding “The Bank is also developing an adaptation mechanism to enable individuals and groups, including women and youth, to borrow money for climate adaptation projects,”

On the quest of promoting “Gender Day” and calling attention to the successes, challenges and issues surrounding gender equality and climate change, the bank hosted some gender-related events, sidelining the main events of the COP27. These events included the launch of the “Gender in Climate Action Accelerator,” a tool that helps private sector companies upgrade gender responsiveness for their corporate climate governance.

This tool will aid governments in promoting gender-sensitive climate sector policies and speed up their green transition process to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development.

Egyptian government, the African Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the French Development Agency, AFD started this initiative collectively.

The panel session, titled “Enabling and Tracking Gender-responsive Green Jobs Recovery,” opened by Rachel Ruto, Kenya’s First Lady, stressed easy information access for women to strengthen their gender-responsive capacity building. According to experts’ opinion, the focus on upskilling and reskilling, which helps women and girls get green jobs, should match the growing efforts for greener economies.

Moreover, the bank held another session, under the name “Accelerating gender-responsive climate investment for a resilient Sahel,” which debated good practices to ramp up gender-responsive climate finance in the Sahel as well.

Acting Director of Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank, Al Hamndou Dorsouma, shared his remarks, demanding an equal distribution of climate resources in Sahel.

Sidi Mohamed EL Wavi, Director of Climate and Green Economy at the Ministry of Environment in Mauritania, pushed for a quality education for women, underlining the positive effect it’s going to have on their overall representation.


COP27 Thematic Gender Day Urges Institutions And Individuals To Act For Implementation

Spanning across 11 events, the Gender Thematic Day spotlighted the efforts needed to ensure women’s inclusion in the just transition to a climate-resilient future

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt 

Women remain underrepresented in climate governance and debates, and the COP27 Gender Thematic Day brought together women leading climate at national, regional and the global community level, to discuss matters of gender within the climate agenda.

Women continue to bear a disproportionate burden of the adverse impacts created by climate change. It was highlighted that women must be fully integrated into the processes of formulating and implementing policies to ensure fair gender inclusion. As a result, The Gender Thematic Day launched today at COP27 aims to bring this issue to the forefront and provide a platform to discuss existing challenges in this space. The sessions held also aim to share success stories from around the world with a view of promoting gender sensitive and highly responsive policies, strategies and actions.

During the opening session for Gender Day, the African Women’s Climate Adaptive Priorities (AWCAP) initiative was announced and launched by Dr. Morsi. This initiative stems from a key insight that in the wake of disasters, women and children are ~80% of those needing assistance, while poor women in rural areas are 14 times more likely to die during a natural disaster.

President of the National Council for Women in Egypt Dr. Maya Morsi emphasized “Women are not just helpless victims of climate change, they are powerful agents of change, and their leadership is critical. A bottom-up approach is significant to understand women in communities, their environmental concerns, realities and experiences.”

  • Women and Climate Change Finance at COP27 looked at the role of women in society and business and how addressing inequalities could lead to different outcomes when it comes to climate finance.
  • Voices of Women Leaders in Climate Debates, Policies, Implementation and Beyond focused on how women are disproportionately affected by the climate crisis and if given the opportunity they can lead the world out of it.
  • African Women Climate Change Realities: Adaptation, Mitigation and Response focused on the crucial role women play in climate change mitigation and adaptation and the need for African governments, civil society, policymakers, to invest in capacity and skill building as well as education of women and girls to enhance awareness.
  • COVID-19 and climate change: women at the center of planning and response highlighted that women were among the most affected segments of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • At the Women Livelihood Within Just Economic Transition, explored the need for gender to be considered as part of ensuring a just and managed transition to a new and more sustainable economic model for women. With training and skill building central to success.
  • Voices of Women Leaders in Climate Debates, Policies, Implementation and Beyond looked at how Women in leadership positions remain a minority but if part of the solution could help to address the hardships brought on by the climate crisis and help deliver viable and tangible solutions.

Inspired by the theme of the day, an 18-year-old spoke at the Closing Ceremony and highlighted the importance of knowledge as a potent tool to aid implementation. Dr Maya Mosri, President of the National Council for Women in Egypt, introduced Nevine Ghazi to the audience as a young advocate who reached out during the day wanting to contribute to AWCAP by providing accessible and effective climate education to children particularly in the global South. The ceremony was also attended by H.E. Minister of Environment in Egypt, Dr. Yasmine Fouad; Dr Usha Rao-Monari UN Under Secretary-General and UNDP Associate Administrator; and UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous.