It was the first time CSW addressed this theme and it was of particular importance as gender equality and gender responsive matters had been sidelined in recent climate change negotiations.
Although the negotiation process was arduous, there were constructive discussions and willingness to compromise. The climate paragraphs were the most difficult to negotiate, as Member-States did not want to reopen COP agreements in the CSW context. Despite the challenging process, the facilitator (South-Africa) managed to have all the paragraphs agreed. Although there was disappointment on the missed opportunity to advance gender-transformative and rights-based solutions to the climate crisis and to progress the discussion on climate finance, the outcome should be considered as a successful step towards acknowledging the interlinkages of gender with the climate crisis. In addition, for the first time in CSW history, an explicit connection was made between the climate crises and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
SRHR critical for resilience and adaptation
The CSW recognized sexual and reproductive health and rights as being critical to ensuring women’s resilience and adaptation to climate and humanitarian crises. In this regard, there was an explicit recognition that as a result of displacement, women and girls face specific challenges and reduced access to essential health-care services, including sexual and reproductive health-care services. There was also a reaffirmation of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health as foundational to building the resilience of all women and girls and the need for strengthening access to gender-responsive, safe, available, affordable, accessible, quality and inclusive health-care services, including ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education; and the need to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, in accordance with the PoA of ICPD and Beijing including universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services.
Climate change disproportionately affecting women and girls
The Agreed Conclusions also recognized that climate change is a gendered crisis and disproportionately affects women and girls in all their diversity, while recognizing the importance of climate adaptation and resilience for women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental degradation and humanitarian crises. The adverse impacts of climate change, environmental degradation and disasters on menstrual hygiene and management, as well as the need to expand women’s and girls’ access to adequate, safe and clean water and sanitation facilities were also recognized together with a commitment to promote a gender-responsive approach in this regard in the context of climate change. The disproportionate impacts of climate change for women and girls living in humanitarian contexts were recognized, together with a commitment to strengthen their full, equal and meaningful participation.
Check out the adopted resolution.