Quick Analysis

Previous reports by WEDO have tracked data from 2008 to present the trends in women’s participation at the major negotiating meetings of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (see “WEDO (2012), Women’s Participation in UN Climate Negotiations, 2008-2012”, “WEDO (2014), Ensuring Women’s Access and Influence on Climate Change Policy, 2008-2014” and “WEDO (2015), Progress on Achieving Gender Balance in the UNFCCC”). The data presented in this section complements these initial findings and analyzes recent evolutions.

There is progress to note: in the last 8 years, there has been a steady increase in women’s participation in the process, both in overall participation and at the highest levels of decision-making. This progress can be attributed to various factors: the adoption of decisions promoting women’s participation in climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts at the UNFCCC, the implementation of gender quotas and the introduction of climate change and gender plans at the national level, as well as the introduction of initiatives by civil society to enhance women’s leadership in climate change negotiations.

However, women’s access to and influence in UNFCCC negotiations, though increasing, still has some way to go before reflecting a truly gender-balanced process. Women remain widely underrepresented on the delegations of many countries, particularly in high-level positions, as well as on the delegations of countries most vulnerable to climate impacts. Certain countries, regions, and negotiating blocks are more marked than others by these tendencies. Despite some slight progress, women’s overall participation has, on average, stagnated below 25% for LDCs, African Group, and OPEC countries.

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