Women Together in the Pacific – A Talanoa on Women in Climate Change

Background: Women face disproportionate vulnerabilities to climate change across the world. Men and women often have different roles and responsibilities, determining whom has access to power and decision-making authority within the household and community. These social dimensions impact women’s access to, and management of, strategic resources, and often limit their participation and engagement in decision-making. Combined, these factors can limit women’s adaptive capacity to climate change[1]. With the Pacific being among the most vulnerable regions in the world to the impacts of climate change, the increasingly extreme weather events, sea level rise, and changing crop patterns faced by the region will tend to have a greater impact on women of the Pacific.

The Framework for Resilient Development in the Pacific (FRDP) recognizes the importance of addressing women’s vulnerability to climate change, and “advocates for equitable participation of men and women in planning and implementation of resilience building activities” [2]. Similarly, many of Pacific Island’s national policy documents highlight the importance of including gender considerations in their national sustainable development plans.

International Women’s Day 2023 presents an important space to acknowledge challenges faced by women due to the increasing impacts of climate change, celebrate achievements of inspiring female leaders, and discuss how to ensure that gender considerations are meaningfully incorporated in climate change planning, policy and implementation. This Talanoa will shed important insights on how to #Embrace Equality when implementing climate change projects.

With IWD’s theme of “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”[3], the event aims to explore the potential technology holds to empower women and lessen the digital divide. This is built on the recognition that bringing women and other marginalized groups into technology results in creative solutions and has important potential for innovations that meet women’s needs whiles contributing towards sustainable development[4]. The UN Women’s Gender Snapshot 2022 report[5] highlights that women’s exclusion from the digital world could lead to a loss of $1.5 trillion USD form the gross domestic product of low- and middle-income countries by 2025, if no action is taken.

Recognizing the importance of leaving no one behind in technological advances, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is undertaking a comprehensive digital transformation, which aims to leverage the potential of digitalization to create benefits for societies across the world. This strategy has a central aim to ensure all digitalization is human-centred and inclusive. In this way, the digital transformation presents an important avenue to reduce the digital divide and use the benefits of technology to create equal opportunities for women and men alike.

About the Event:

Acknowledging women’s disproportionate vulnerabilities to climate change, this event aims to move the debate from theory to practice. The Talanoa will bring together a range of different climate change projects, from nature-based solutions to green entrepreneurship and climate policy, which each work with vastly different stakeholders, from government officials to entrepreneurs and local communities. Despite these differences, each project faces the common challenge of including considerations for women and vulnerable groups in all stages of their planning and implementation. Similarly, each project faces common challenges of leveraging technology to present opportunities and benefits for women and men alike, throughout their projects.

Discussions will address the nexus between engaging women in climate change, and the role of the digital transformation in promoting inclusive, sustainable development across the Pacific.

The event will be published at this link, on March 8th: www.facebook.com/PacificNDCHub