The Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) is channeling funding to local women’s civil society organizations to enhance their active participation and leadership in climate security efforts on the front lines.
Climate change is now impacting all corners of the world. Over 3.3 billion people are “highly vulnerable” to climate change, according to a recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Recognized as an increasing risk to security, climate change negatively impacts environmental systems worldwide, resulting in secondary risks such as an increase in conflict, political instability, population displacements, poverty, and hunger — all of which have disproportionate effects on women and girls.
Across countries, women and girls are increasingly compelled to respond to the interrelated impacts of climate change and violent conflict, creating further risks to their security and challenging recovery and peacebuilding efforts. Patriarchal norms and structural gender inequalities mean that women and girls are disproportionately exposed to the impacts of climate change, with fewer resources or opportunities to adapt. These norms are often deepened in climate-related crises, during which economic loss and the lack of access to resources such as food and water, as well as rising conflict, result in increased gender-based violence (GBV) and the loss of livelihoods for women and girls, among other issues.
Supporting Women At the Forefront of Climate Action
Despite bearing the brunt of the effects of climate change, women and girls remain undervalued and underrepresented in key decision-making processes related to climate change and resource management. This, in turn, results in policies and programs that fail to adequately address their needs, leading to further inequalities and the exacerbation of existing conflicts.
Women’s equal and meaningful participation is vital for sustaining long-lasting peace and addressing the escalating climate-related security risks at the community level. It is imperative that the WPS agenda considers climate change as a security issue, acknowledging and strengthening this triple nexus (climate-gender-conflict) and considering the immediate and longer-term effects on women’s lives. In order to do so, providing quality, flexible, and timely financing to women’s civil society organizations already on the front lines of this response is critical to enable their active participation in climate security efforts.
WPHF civil society partners are implementing activities contributing to climate security in crisis contexts, such as supporting women to take part in capacity initiatives that build resilience to climate change and disasters, enhance knowledge on early warning, and collect climate-related data; and supporting women with skills on modern gardening techniques and diversification of resilient and ‘climate-smart’ crops for enhanced food security.