Call for inputs: Report on violence against women and girls in the context of the climate crisis, including environmental degradation and related disaster risk mitigation and response

Source(s)
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
African woman with red hand on her mouth during a protest. Group of activists demonstrating to stop abuse of women.
Jacob Lund/Shutterstock
Deadline 31 March 2022
Issued by Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences
Purpose To inform the Special Rapporteur's report on violence against women and girls in the context of the climate crisis, including environmental degradation and related disaster risk mitigation and response, to be presented at the 77th session of the General Assembly

Background

Since starting her appointment in August 2021, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, Ms. Reem Alsalem, has identified some key and emerging thematic priorities she intends to focus on. One of them is violence against women and girls in the context of the climate crisis, which will be the subject of her upcoming thematic report, to be presented to the UN General Assembly at its 77th session, in September 2022.

The impacts of the climate crisis are already present in different regions of the world. However, its adverse effects are not felt equally. It is evident, including from findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that those who already find themselves in the most vulnerable and marginalized positions will also experience the greatest impact. Underprivileged populations, including women and girls in many countries around the world, experience the consequences of the climate crisis differently. There is therefore a need to address inequalities head on through effective mitigation and adaptation structures, and through compensation for loss and damage. As acknowledged by the Secretary-General's Call to action for human rights, the climate crisis affects everyone, including future generations, and is equally a climate justice crisis.

Women and girls are often disproportionally affected by the negative impacts of the climate crisis, owing to pre-existing, deep-rooted and persisting gender inequalities and discrimination. Sudden-onset natural disasters as well as slow-onset events, linked to the climate crisis, environmental degradation and displacement, seriously affect women's and girls' access to food and nutrition, safe drinking water and sanitation, health-care services and medicines, education and training, adequate housing, access to land, access to decent work and labour protection.

Climate change is also recognized as a serious aggravator of all types of gender-based violence against women and girls, and is poised to exacerbate the already increasing number of complex emergencies, which disproportionately affect women and girls, as, for example, highlighted in a 2019 study carried out by OHCHR.

As pointed out by the CEDAW Committee in its General Recommendation No. 37 (2018), women and girls are often at greater risk of violence after disasters, in the absence of social protection schemes and in situations in which there is food insecurity, as they attempt to gain access to food for family members and themselves. The Committee also highlights the risks of violence in camps and temporary settlements, and notes that domestic violence, child, early or forced marriage, trafficking in persons and forced prostitution are more likely to occur during and following disasters.

Increasing international attention is being given to the impact of the climate crisis on women and girls, and gender equality and participation of women and girls is progressively being integrated in approaches to adaptation and mitigation policies as well as action to address loss and damage associated with the impacts of the climate crisis. It is, however, not sufficient, and this awareness has not adequately influenced the design and implementation of national, regional and global policies. In addition, the role of the impacts of the climate crisis in exacerbating gender-based violence against women and girls is examined to a lesser extent in international, regional and domestic processes. The situation is exacerbated by the lack of data on consequences of the climate crisis on gender-based violence. Given the imminent threat of climate crisis, the substantial adverse effects that it is already having, and the pervasiveness of gender-based violence against women and girls, the topic requires urgent attention. Moreover, when women and girls are excluded from climate action, this action becomes less effective and climate harms are further exacerbated.

Objectives

The Special Rapporteur kindly seeks the support of States, National Human Rights Institutions, civil society actors, international organizations, academics and other stakeholders to provide updated information on:

1. The impacts of the climate crisis, environmental degradation and related displacement on gender-based violence against women and girls, and on specific groups of women and girls, such as women and girls with disabilities, indigenous women and girls, migrant or displaced women and girls, older women, rural women and girls, women and girls living in extreme poverty, women and girls human rights defenders, or other groups with heightened vulnerabilities or intersecting and overlapping identities. In particular, the Special Rapporteur would be interested in updated information on the ways in which intersectionality impacts the experience of violence and its consequence by different women and girls, depending on their background and profile;

2. The different manifestations or specific types of gender-based violence experienced by women and girls related to the climate crisis, environmental degradation and related displacement;

3. Good practices, strategies and challenges in the mitigation and prevention of gender-based violence and in the protection of women and girls in the context of the climate crisis, environmental degradation and related displacement, including in the promotion of access to justice, remedies and redress for victims/survivors;

4. Good practices, strategies and challenges related to integrating gender equality and countering gender-based violence against women and girls in climate crisis related disaster risk reduction mitigation and response, including women-led and community-based responses. If available, please provide information on lessons learned from the responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and its intersection with climate crisis related disaster risk mitigation and response;

5. The extent to which women and girls are able to, at all levels, access information and participate fully, equally and meaningfully in the mitigation of the climate crisis, including environmental degradation and the sudden onset of disasters, and the response to it, as stipulated by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Gender Action Plan;

6. The way in which decisions as to what and how to finance climate crisis mitigation, adaptation and response affects funds available for preventing and ending gender-based violence against women and girls; and

7. Any other issue of relevance.

Whenever possible and available, inputs should provide updated quantitative and disaggregated data on the issues presented.

How and where to submit inputs

Inputs should be sent by e-mail by 31 March 2022.

E-mail address OHCHR-vaw@un.org
E-mail subject line Input for SR VAW's report on violence against women in the context of climate crisis
Word limit 2,000 words
File formats Word, PDF
Accepted languages English, French, Spanish

Treatment of inputs received

Submissions will be published as received on the mandate's webpage. Kindly indicate if you DO NOT wish your submission to be made public.

Share this

PLEASE NOTE: CONTENT IS DISPLAYED AS LAST POSTED BY A PREVENTIONWEB COMMUNITY MEMBER OR EDITOR. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED THEREIN ARE NOT NECESSARILY THOSE OF UNDRR, PREVENTIONWEB, OR ITS SPONSORS.
SEE OUR TERMS OF USE