Advocacy is about the long haul. It’s about relationship building and networking. It’s about building powerful and unsuspecting alliances and strengthening our collective voice. And the “wins” from those efforts take shape in many ways.
PAI is proud to announce that we were recently selected as the newest steering committee member for the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA), alongside United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), CARE International, and Women’s Environment & Development Organization (WEDO). This is a two-year position representing a global alliance of more than 100 member organizations, and it is an incredibly exciting moment for PAI and the family planning and climate movement.
The purpose of the GGCA is to ensure that a gender perspective is incorporated in climate change policies, programs, and initiatives globally. Building upon decades of research and advocacy on the connections between population and environment, we have dedicated the past six years to developing a body of work around the critical links between sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), gender, climate, and sustainable development.
Since GGCA was founded in 2007, we have seen progress in every single one of these areas. Back then, hardly anyone was making these connections—not the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its climate scientists, not developing country planning processes, not the media, not donors, and few civil society organizations. Women and girls are now increasingly central to conversations about climate change. GGCA was critical to making that happen.
When leadership on these issues from IUCN and WEDO first began in 2005, there was no reference to gender in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The GGCA now has more than 100 members and there were more than 43 references to gender in the watershed outcome document from the 2009 UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP15) in Copenhagen. Some of the critical voices and allies in this work have been fellow steering committee members UNDP and UNEP as well as CARE International, ActionAid, Oxfam and others. This choir of voices has been powerful and has been heard.
As the GGCA website states, incorporating a gender perspective in all climate change policies and initiatives is critical to solving the climate crisis. We are honored to be a part of the Steering Committee and look forward to the opportunity to bring our technical expertise, coalition experience, energy, and fresh ideas to the GGCA community, and advance our collective work in the next chapter—starting with making our voices heard at COP20 in Lima, Peru this December!