Women Must Be At The Table To Achieve Climate Justice

Women leaders reinforce value of the participation of women in decision-making processes related to climate change.

“Women and Power: Building a Different World”, co-hosted by President Michelle Bachelet and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, in Santiago, Chile, concluded with international women leaders signing a call to action titled “Women Leaders: Time to step it up for gender equality”.

The call to action, which refers to the 20 year review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, recognizes the need to involve women in decision-making processes relating to climate change, and for women to design and implement gender-responsive climate solutions.

It states:

Amplifying women’s voices, expanding their agency, and boosting their leadership and influence is vital to the achievement of democracy, good governance, economic development, environmental sustainability, and peace. (…) In this century, in the face of new global challenges, women and men must share responsibility for determining their futures, and in building peaceful, climate-resilient communities.”

Signing the Call to Action, Mary Robinson, President of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, said  “All of us must work to ensure that the principle of gender equality is integrated into international efforts to address climate change and sustainable development in 2015 and beyond. Human rights are women’s rights. Let us make sure that we realise them in the post-2015 agendas.”

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women and a member of the Troika+ of Women Leaders on Gender and Climate Change, reminded women leaders during the opening ceremony about the links between women’s empowerment and climate change saying “Both climate justice and gender justice are a precondition for the success of the development agenda and humanity’s survival.”

Climate justice was highlighted by Mary Robinson during her intervention in the opening session of the event on Friday 27 February when she echoed the voices of women community leaders who attended Women’s Participation: Learning from Community Experiences by saying “Women are at the heart of effective solutions to addressing the impacts of climate change. They are the most convincing advocates for the policy solutions that they require and have a right to participate in decison-making processes.”

International women leaders, including Heads of State, Former Heads of State, representatives from the UN system, governments, the private sector, activists and a Nobel Laureate,who attended the Women and Power conference repeatedly highlighted the need for women’s empowerment and participation, while pointing out that global agendas and processes like the Post-2015 Development Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals, Financing for Development, and a climate change agreement will not be efficiently addressed, and that global change will not be affected, unless women are around the table.

Related Links


Women in Power: Building a Different World

Roundtable on Women’s Participation: Learning from Community Experiences

Read more about our work on Women’s Leadership on Gender and Climate Change

Leaders’ Forum on Women Leading the Way: Raising Ambition for Climate Action