Climate change

Women are underrepresented in climate change policy

A woman from the remote Turkana tribe in Northern Kenya waits for food aid. Over 23 million people across East Africa are face a critical shortage of water and food, a situation made worse by climate change. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Women are severely underrepresented when it comes to global environmental policy, says Maria Ivanova, associate professor of global governance and director at the Center for Governance and Sustainability at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Ivanova says that not only are women experiencing climate change on the front lines going unheard, but women at the policy level are being sidelined as well. Women’s representation in bodies and boards at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is roughly 36 percent, but only 26 percent of heads of national delegations are female, and only 8 of the 34 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chairs, co-chairs, and vice-chairs are women. The media proves even more biased: of those interviewed by media on climate change, only 15 percent are women. Enumerating the accomplishments of 15 women successfully fighting climate change through a variety of means and domains, Ivanova argues that a better effort must be made to hear women’s stories and incorporate women into the groups that formulate policy.

Read the full story at CNN.

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