Quick Analysis

Some key observations in relation to new and updated NDCs in 2020 (see Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Updated and New Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) for more info):

  • 7 of the 14 updated NDCs analyzed include a reference to women or gender. Of these, several integrate gender across topics and use it as cross-cutting approach to climate planning and action, while others' references are less substantive.
  • 4 of the 4 new NDCs, the second for their respective Parties, include a reference to women or gender. While the scope of this inclusion varies, some examples, led by the Marshall Islands (the first Party to submit their second NDC), are robust in their integration of gender.
  • Norway is the only Annex I country thus far to include a reference to women or gender, which is already an improvement over the Annex I showing in 2016, where no Annex I Parties included such a reference.
  • Several Parties who did not reference women or gender in 2016 did so with these NDCs, some in ways that were quite substantive. 

Some key observations in relation to submitted NDCs in 2016:

  • In total, 64 of the 190 NDCs analyzed include a reference to women or gender. Of these, several only mention gender in the context of the country’s broader sustainable development strategy and not specifically in relation to climate change policies (e.g. India).
  • All 64 countries are non-Annex I countries. This is significant for a number of reasons. First, it highlights that gender is rarely perceived as a relevant consideration in the context of mitigation strategies (which are the overwhelming focus of Annex I countries). Second, given that the vast majority of commitments in NDCs from non-Annex I countries are conditional, it underlines the vulnerability of the existing commitments to women’s rights and gender equality in the context of national climate change policies.
  • The context in which women or gender are mentioned is most commonly in relation to adaptation (27 countries). This is followed by mitigation (12 countries), implementation of commitments (9 countries), and capacity-building (5 countries). However, about a third of the countries refer to women or gender in a way that is cross-cutting or mainstreamed across one or more relevant sectors (22 countries).
  • Of those 64 countries, the most common way in which the position or role of women is characterized is as a vulnerable group (WVG). 34 NDCs refer to women in this way.
  • Women are characterized as beneficiaries of policies or projects in 21 INDCs, roughly half of which concern adaptation and the other half of which concern mitigation. A common way in which a transition to clean energy is viewed as benefiting women is through the health benefits of cleaner cooking fuel or the reduction in unpaid care work.
  • 15 NDCs refer to the role of women as important decision-makers or stakeholders in the context of climate change policy-making, and only 6 NDCs refer to women as agents or drivers of change.
  • There is almost a complete absence of gender-responsive budgeting in the NDCs. Ghana’s NDC quantifies the cost of the policy underlying its program to increase the resilience of women to climate change, and Jordan’s INDC commits to ensuring that financing mechanisms for mitigation and adaptation address the needs and conditions for implementation in relation to poor women.
  • Of the NDCs referring to gender, 34 suggest that the process for developing the NDC was participatory.
  • 18 NDCs in total include a reference to human rights. Of these, 4 mention human rights but not gender or women.
  • Only Liberia and Peru identify legislation that has specifically been developed to address the intersection of climate change and gender. The Peruvian legislation is still being developed.

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