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  • Saturday, 10 September 2022

Egypt-ICF Leaps Forward for Gender-Responsive Climate Action Ahead of COP27

On the third day of the Egypt-International Cooperation Forum (Egypt-ICF) in its second edition, a workshop entitled “Economic Opportunities for Women Empowerment In Climate Action,” was organized to deliver climate justice to women ahead of COP27 and add thrust to the leap for gender-responsive climate action. 

Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, said that Egypt’s National Climate Change Strategy 2050 emphasized that the gender component in climate action, and COP27 provides a significant opportunity to add thrust to the message for gender-responsive climate action.  

President of the National Council for Women (NCW), Maya Morsy, said in her speech that women around the world suffer inequalities and barriers due to the lack of access to resources and economic opportunities that are made available to them.

Morsi added that these barriers limit women's ability to participate in adaptation and mitigation efforts. In return, this affects the gender equality agenda as well as the climate action agenda.

In the same vein, Morsy underscored the need to deliver climate justice that takes into account the social and economic impacts of climate change, adding that, in March 2022, during the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66), Egypt presented the report “Egypt’s Global Perspective: Women, Environment, and Climate Change”, which is based on 7 actionable areas, namely promoting gender-sensitive perspectives within adaptation, mitigation, and climate change responses.

 On her part, Leslie Reed, Mission Director for Egypt, USAID, stated that women bear the brunt of the effects of climate change, from higher rates of violence to economic insecurity, particularly for women who depend on natural resources to support their homes. Thereby, women’s voices must amplified through the promotion of women in leadership positions to combat climate change.  

“Empowering women is one of USAID's top priorities, and we want to empower women to lead the way in tackling climate change. The USAID implements a gender-sensitive strategy that prioritizes women's empowerment in climate action,” Reed pointed out.

Lorena Aguilar, former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica, said, “We are seeing more and more women leading ecosystem conservation initiatives in Latin America.”

She also highlighted that adaptation is a matter of life and death, especially for girls and women. 

Carlos Conde, Head of Middle East and Africa Division, OECD Directorate for Global Relations and Cooperation, stated that Egypt-ICF leaps forward for gender-responsive climate action and a better understanding of the correlation between gender and climate. 

 In the same context, Barbara Ramboussek, Director of Gender and Economic Inclusion at EBRD, highlighted that women represent 11% of growth in the market, and hailed the Egypt Country Platform for NWFE (Nexus of Food, Water and Energy) for mainstreaming gender and fostering interlinkages between gender and climate.

Suzan Hamdy, Senior General Manager and Chief Financial Inclusion, Sustainability and Business Development Officer Member of ExCo, said Mary Robinson's quote, “Climate change is a manmade problem with a feminine solution.”

“At the heart of every strategy in financial institutions must be a gender component, especially for those involved in climate action,” Hamdy said.

Clemence Vidal De La Blache, Egypt Country Director at AFD, said that women are more affected by climate change, as women are 14 times more likely to die than men in natural disasters.

She noted that women-led national parliaments have instituted more assertive climate policies.

This year’s Egypt-ICF and the Meeting of African Ministers of Economy, Finance and Environment, will provide a platform for governments, multilateral and bilateral development partners, philanthropic foundations, private sector, think tanks, and civil society to consider the challenges the continent is offset by and explore avenues to overcome them. 

The Forum’s overall objectives include: mobilization of, and access to finance, to mobilize financing and catalyze private sector investments, focused on developing countries and Africa; financing climate action, adaptation and mitigation to leverage the necessary public and private support to accelerate climate action; and providing a timely platform to explore needed national actions that would help progress towards a just and green transition.