A parliamentary researcher presented the Caucus with the Draft Report of the Multi-Party Women’s Caucus on the Gendered Implications of Climate Change. Presentations had been made on six topics relation to climate change: The Role of Women Parliamentarians Towards Climate Change; The Politics of Climate Change; Climate Change Finance; Agriculture and Food Security; Disaster Risk Reduction; and Mitigation, Energy and Technology. The draft report posed some key questions for the Caucus to consider including what factors/aspects of climate change had a particularly negative impact on women’s lives as well as what interventions would have the most desirable impact on women’s lives. The report suggested that the Caucus consider what actions/tools/platforms were available to Members, given their influence on policy and oversight over the Executive, to ensure that climate change decision-making benefited women? In addition, what systems could be created to ensure a sustained and consistent process for engaging on issues of climate change in meaningful ways?
Members proposed that the Caucus should be represented at the COP17 Climate Change Conference in
It was suggested that members needed to look at the White Paper on Climate Change currently before Parliament and then make contributions from a gendered perspective.
It was agreed that Members of Parliament who had served on Cop16 and COP17 technical committees should brief MPs about the resolutions agreed on at COP16. The Ministers could then brief MPs on the difficulties and challenges experienced in implementing the resolutions. Members of the Caucus should demand to be included in parliamentary delegations sent to COP17.
It was proposed that the Women’s Caucus should try and close the major gap between parliamentarians and the Executive. The Department of Energy had almost concluded its final preparations for COP17 earlier on in the day, yet its own MPs had no idea of the preparations.
Report of Multi-Party Women’s Caucus on Gendered Implications of Climate Change
Ms Tumi Mogorosi, Researcher, said the report was based on a workshop hosted by the Multi-Party Women’s Caucus on gendered perspectives on climate change on 19 October 2011. The workshop aimed at ensuring that female Members of Parliament were capacitated on issues of climate change and its effects, and that they were well-informed on the implications of the COP17 climate change negotiations. The Caucus developed a number of topics as themes to be considered in the workshops. Presentations had been made on the following topics and some key issues for consideration and conclusions were identified under some of the topics:
The Role of Women Parliamentarians Towards Climate Change (Ms Buyelwa Sonjica, former Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs)
In addressing the role of women in climate change, Ms Sonjica categorized approaches into three categories, namely, the impact of climate change on women given their vulnerability, participation of women in the climate change programmes, and empowering women to deal with or adapt to changing climate conditions.
Climate Change Finance (Ms Stacey Alboher, UNDP)
Properly structured climate change finance had the potential to achieve climate change goals while also promoting poverty reductions and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, including the promotion of gender equality. Climate change financing must not only focus on industry but also on transforming and upgrading the livelihoods of women and me.
Agriculture and Food Security (Dr Agnes Babugura,
Climate change will impact on agriculture and food security resulting in gender differentiated impacts and vulnerabilities. Despite the lack of data, there was increasing realisation of the critical role of women in agriculture and food production and of the fact that the empowerment of women is necessary for bring about sustainable development, improved agricultural production and food security.
Disaster Risk Reduction (Dr Sithabiso Gandura, The Wahenga Institute)
Gender inequality was a root cause of women’s vulnerability to disasters and climate change. Gender shaped vulnerability to climate change as well as capacity to cope with disasters.
Mitigation, Energy and Technology (Ms Liz McDaid, The Green Connection)
It was possible to generate much of
The researcher identified key questions for consideration by the Caucus:
▪ What factors/aspects of climate change had a particularly negative impact on women’s lives?
▪ What interventions would have the most desirable impact on women’s lives?
▪ Given Members’ influence on policy and oversight over the Executive, what actions/tools/platforms were available to Members to ensure that climate change decision-making benefited women?
▪ What systems could be created to ensure a sustained and consistent process for engaging on issues of climate change in meaningful ways?
The Deputy Chairperson commented that a wonderful workshop on climate change had been held on 19 October 2011. Women experts on climate change presented gendered perspectives on climate change. It was unfortunate that many of the Caucus Members were not present at the meeting, although it was understood that a number of women were attending other committee meetings at the time.
Ms P Tshwete (ANC) said she had been present at the meeting but highlighted that the workshop clashed with other meetings that had taken place at the same time. Climate change was very new to parliamentarians and was something they were not used to. Ms Tshwete said that the Caucus needed to make sure it was represented at the COP17 climate change conference in
Ms Tswhete said that it was her understanding that MPs should be inviting department ministers and deputy ministers to make presentations of their preparations for climate change as
The Deputy Chairperson said that climate change was “the in thing” these days and that everyone in government was talking about it. It was a disgrace for MPs to not know about climate change. The women presenters at the 19 October 2011 workshop were “straight to the point” in their presentations – if they were taken to the COP17 conference in
A Member commented that women were the victims of climate change more than anybody and supported Ms Tshwete’s proposal for a delegation from the Caucus to attend COP17. It was very important for the Caucus to properly consider, and then decide on whether or not it agreed with, the recommendations made by the presenters at the Workshop on 19 October. There was not enough time for the Caucus to consider its recommendations from scratch. The Caucus should focus on its recommendations and the way forward. Members should take awareness campaigns on the issue of climate change to their constituencies.
The Deputy Chairperson said that parliamentarians were always trying hard to speak the language of the communities.
Ms H Mgabadeli (ANC) said that the psychological effects of climate change and related disasters were missing from the analysis presented. There were psychologists among
Ms Nelisiwe Mildred Oliphant, Minister of Labour, said that she was at the meeting in her capacity as a women parliamentarian and not as the Minister of Labour. Her proposal for the way forward was that the Caucus invited the Minister of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) as Ms Nkoana-Mashabane was President of the COP17 Conference. The Caucus should also invite the Minister of the Department of Environmental Affairs, Ms Edna Molewa, as she would be leading the negotiations at COP17. Before the Caucus agreed on the proposed issues before it, it would need to get hold of
The Deputy Chairperson agreed that the resolutions taken at COP16 needed to be built on.
Ms D Robinson (DA) said that the Minister of Labour had given the Caucus good direction and that the Caucus should follow the Minister’s suggested path. The Caucus could still have another session but the documentation was rich and members could read it.
The Deputy Chairperson and members of the Caucus all agreed.
Ms J Manganye (ANC) said that members needed to look at the White Paper on Climate Change currently before Parliament and then make contributions from a gendered perspective. The government was trying to raise awareness about climate change among the people. Recently the Department of Environmental Affairs launched an “awareness train”. Members should inform themselves of when the train would arrive in their provinces and disseminate the information to the rural people.
Ms Barbara Thompson, Deputy Minister of Energy, said that she was personally “pained” about the disjuncture between MPs and the Executive. The Women’s Caucus should try and close that gap. The Department of Energy had almost concluded its final preparations for COP17 earlier on in the day, yet its own MPs had no idea of the preparations. This was not right. Ms Tshwete had raised the issue of funding for climate change and COP17; women parliamentarians needed to know how to access funds such as the Green Fund that were meant to be supporting COP17, otherwise they were of no value to anyone.
The meeting was adjourned.
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