On the International Day of Rural Women, the UN’s top climate change official Christiana Figueres drew attention to the important role of rural women in responding to the challenge climate change. Speaking from Daegu, the Republic of Korea, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Christiana Figueres said:
“Climate change adds to the challenges facing rural women, as social and economic inequalities mean the climate impacts will often fall heavily upon women. At the same time, women play a critical role in the fight against climate change because they often have a more direct approach to sustainability and valuable sets of skills and knowledge in their communities. Women have great potential as agents of change, as their actions can improve their own lives and the lives of others. Women all over the world are already taking action on climate change, but more is needed and I would like to see women worldwide coming together to address climate change and improve their communities.”
The UNFCCC secretariat showcases women’s action through its “Momentum for Change” initiative that is designed to raise awareness about mitigation and adaptation activity around the world. One of the three Momentum for Change pillars is ‘Women for Results’, which recognizes and celebrates the leadership and participation of women in addressing climate change.
An example of empowering rural women to act on climate change is Solar Sister, founded in Uganda in 2009. Solar Sister is in the process of building an Africa-wide network of women clean energy entrepreneurs by providing training and support and a start-up ‘business in a bag’.
At the UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw (11-22 November), the UNFCCC secretariat’s “Momentum for Change” initiative will showcase further “lighthouse activities” in the area of women’s action on climate change.
The initiative will also showcase activities in the areas of improving the lives of urban poor and innovative climate finance. In addition, the “Momentum for Change” will launch a new pillar that will focus on contributions the information and technology sector is making to curb emissions and increase adaptive capacity to respond.