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“We need more women taking decisions for our climate!” – Teresa Ribera, Spanish Minister of Environment

Different groups of people are impacted by climate change in different ways. Studies have found that women commonly face higher risks and bear greater burdens from the impact of climate change. However, they are often left out of the picture when decisions about climate action are being made. In response to the need for more sensitivity to gender issues in the response to climate change, the parties to COP22 in 2016 agreed to create a Gender Action Plan to bolster the role of women in climate action.

In line with the imperative towards gender mainstreaming in the UN system, the Gender Action Plan encourages the integration of a gender perspective into decision making and program implementation. An important concept is capacity building, where the action plan highlights the importance of providing women with tools that would enable empowerment and self-determination.

At COP25 last December, countries accelerated a more gender-responsive approach by evaluating implementation thus far and the adoption of an ambitious 5-year plan focused on implementation movements. Some would say that the Gender Action Plan was the most solid result emerging from COP25.