New report launched to support gender equality in climate action amidst COVID-19
Ha Noi, 28 April 2021 – In collaboration with the Institute of Strategy and Policy on Natural Resources and Environment (ISPONRE), UN Women and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) launched the report entitled The State of Gender Equality and Climate Change in Vietnam today to support the integration of gender equality in the climate mitigation and adaptation policies of the country.
As mentioned in the report, the Government of Viet Nam submitted an updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) last September 2020, where it committed to increasing its targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
“More importantly, the updated NDC integrated gender equality and social inclusion issue for the first time, making Viet Nam one of few countries in the world that addressing gender as a cross cutting in its NDC. But doing more is always better”, said Elisa Fernandez, UN Women Representative in Viet Nam.
This new report provides a gender analysis of the impacts of climate change in Viet Nam, particularly in the sectors of agriculture, water management, waste management, and energy, which the country has prioritized. Various policies were also reviewed to determine what mechanisms currently exist to facilitate gender mainstreaming in policy-making and program implementation.
“Gender and climate change are cross-cutting issues that need joint effort of all nations and societies. This report aims to provide a fresh entry to promote gender integration in climate polices in Vietnam which eventually contribute to implementation of both SDG 05 – Gender equality and SDG 13- Climate change. The government of Viet Nam is updating the National Strategy for Climate Change so findings presented in this report may useful for climate policy makers in referring gender equality in the strategy” added Dr. Nguyen Trung Thang, Deputy Director General of ISPONRE.
Among the key findings of the report is that men and women have differentiated capacities as resource users and contributors to the implementation of climate policies. The report notes that:
- In the agriculture sector, the gendered division of labor within the sector and additional responsibilities taken on by women as a consequence of gender norms prohibit their active participation in decision-making inside and outside of their households;
- In the water management sector, many national policies see women as one of many vulnerable groups and mainly treat them as beneficiaries so policies rarely focus on women as potential change agents to preserve water resources;
- In the waste management sector, 90% of street waste collectors and scavengers are women whose jobs are not recognized by existing laws because they are considered part of the informal sector; and
- In the energy sector, most jobs in the manufacturing, construction, and engineering are traditionally seen as suitable only for men, thus women are significantly underrepresented.
Launched under the EmPower project that is jointly implemented by UN Women and UNEP, and supported by the Government of Sweden, the report also offers sector specific recommendations that could inform policies to strengthen gender integration in the implementation of the NDC and updating the National Strategy for Climate Change in Viet Nam.
At the workshop, Ambassador Anne Måwe - Ambassador of Sweden to Viet Nam shared that “Sweden is recognized for being a global leader in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment. This is a centerpiece in our foreign and development policy. Sweden was the first country to implement a Feminist Foreign Policy, which was launched in 2014. This policy represents a shift towards a more systemic approach to addressing inequality, and focuses on enhancing the rights, representation and resources of women and girls globally. When gender equality increases, poverty decreases”.
“It is our hope that the key findings of the report as well as the recommendations for these key sectors will be useful for our government partners in ensuring that climate change mitigation and adaptation is gender-responsive, inclusive, and rights-based so we can build a truly sustainable future for this generation and the generations to come,” said Mozaharul Alam, Regional Climate Change Coordinator of UNEP.
Hoang Bich Thao, Communications Officer, UN Women Viet Nam