Join us for a live event on International Women’s Day in partnership with the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States that will bring together thought leaders to discuss the nexus of climate action, food security and gender equality in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The discussion will center around taking stock of progress that has been made in setting up gender-responsive and transformative climate interventions in Arab countries. Speakers will also share experiences and lessons, while highlighting good practices on gender equality, women empowerment in food security and climate action contributing to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.
In the MENA region, the climate change debate connects with discussions about social vulnerability, gender inequality and wider instability. Global and regional research show that women and girls face increased vulnerabilities to climate change. Cultural gender norms and practices resulting from existing structures and unbalanced power relationships place women and girls at a disadvantage, in terms of exposure to adverse climate impacts and adaptive capacity. Women tend to be overly burdened with unpaid care work in the region compared to men, and when disasters strike, women are thus less likely to survive and more likely to be injured. Similarly, women and girls are likely to have diminished decision-making within the household and community thus are less engaged in policy formulation or community decision making. Around 23% of employed women in the region are in agriculture and depend on farming and natural resources for livelihoods and are thus impacted by droughts, floods and declining harvest resulting from climate change.
World Bank MENA Vice-President Ferid Belhaj and Assistant Secretary General of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States Kanni Wignaraja will be giving opening remarks.