In Focus: UN Women Arab States at COP 28
At this year’s UN Climate Change Conference, COP 28, UN Women will ensure that women and girls’ rights, abilities, and needs are taken into account in climate debates and incorporated into government policies.
Women and girls have been at the forefront of climate activism and can offer unique knowledge and expertise—including among Indigenous, rural, and young populations—that can support effective climate action.
As extreme weather events increase in intensity and frequency, women and girls around the world are also exposed to disproportionate hardships, including food insecurity and risks of poverty and violence.
UN Women has prepared key knowledge products for the conference, held in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December 2023, which provide analysis and policy recommendations on gender and climate change.
The UN Women delegation to COP 28 is led by UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous. UN will release its Feminist Climate Justice report at a press conference at COP, and will also engage in events calling for gender-responsive policies on 4 December, the conference’s Gender Day.
One of the main opportunities in tackling the challenges of climate change in the Arab States region, lies in potential of women in the region, given their educational background, expertise and experiences from relevant sectors. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is a key educational component for addressing climate change, through innovational solutions. And while STEM graduates seem to stagnate or even decline in some parts of the world, a striking observation is that the percentage of women pursuing an education in these fields is higher in the Middle East than for other regions. This places women in the Arab States in a uniquely good position for employment in these sectors, given that main STEM fields such as ICT, digitalization and the green economy, are anticipated to account for 70 per cent of all jobs in the future, and bearing great potential in fields such as renewable energy and climate smart agriculture.
Building on COP27
In CoP 27 November 2022, the League of Arab States, UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States and the National Council of Women in Egypt organised a Side Session on the multi-disciplinary model, yet focusing on the Green Economy pillar of the programme and highlighting the sectors which would create a large number of jobs for women in the Arab States; including climate smart mini farms, hydroponics and renewable energy. Since then, UN Women has engaged closely with Governments in the Arab States, Donors and Financiers to support the growth of these sectors, mainly through the private sector. Besides strong Government commitments, an exciting partnership between Donors (Funding) and International Financial Institutions (Financing) is emerging.