ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman has underlined that women should be placed at the centre of climate change policies and given opportunities to address their extreme vulnerability in this climate catastrophe that Pakistan is going through.
Speaking at the launch event of the National Climate Change Gender Action Plan (NCCGAP) by the IUCN, she congratulated the IUCN for launching the much-awaited document.
The Climate Change Gender Action Plan of Pakistan was prepared by the Ministry of Climate Change with the support of Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the IUCN.
Emphasizing the impact of climate change on women, the federal minister stated that “women and children are the most vulnerable communities in Pakistan, they are always on the ground zero of conflict, pandemics and disasters, and face the disproportionate effects of climate change, which Pakistan is now experiencing in an unprecedented fashion. The situation is complex, but it is very real. Women are the most affected when conflict strikes due to issues of accessibility and lack of gendered disaster preparedness but they are also the real agents of change when you need nature-based solutions. They make change possible not just from their homes but also from their fields, from the fisheries, from our factories and from the boardrooms. For a society to transition towards climate change adaptation and resilience and also take ownership, it is the women that will make this change a reality. Women have also traditionally been the care-givers of a hidden care economy, not just in the world, but also in Pakistan.”
Emphasizing Pakistan’s climate change policy process, Sherry Rehman said, “It is our responsibility to empower women who, in the trenches of extreme vulnerability, also go through the trauma of climate change-induced displacement and migrations that we often see on the ground especially in the cities. It is high time that Pakistan revisit the NDCs submitted to the UNFCCC for including gender considerations and for mainstreaming them effectively. Treating gender as an add-on in policy spheres has led to exclusion and deprivation among beneficiaries of public goods and services. We cannot express things in a chasm. More needs to be done to include the women of Pakistan in the climate change conversation. Until you give the tools of change to women and bring them to the table in decision-making for creating building blocks of resilience and overcoming barriers to enhancing mitigation and adaptation efforts in climate change, a society adept to disaster risks will not be possible. The action plan will not only support awareness raising and capacity building, but also enhance our abilities to increase collaboration between institutional silos that do embrace policy but are unable to unlock the momentum needed to foster and engage communities and real change. I thank the IUCN for their support. Climate action is our responsibility. Let’s take it now. We must prioritise women when engaging with or making climate change-related policies.”