A platform for voices supporting women's rights
To see what’s being done right when it comes to gender equality and environmental efforts, look to northern Europe…That’s the finding of an index that was launched Nov. 19, which ranks 72 countries to measure how they stack up globally.
Iceland topped the index, followed by the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. The Democratic Republic of Congo came last. The scorecard, called the Environment and Gender Index (EGI), monitors governments’ progress on women’s empowerment in the environmental arena. It is being launched during the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19), a climate change conference currently taking place in Warsaw, Poland, in hopes of measuring progress, improving information, identifying gaps and pushing countries to take more action, especially on international gender and environment mandates.
Rebecca Pearl-Martinez, EGI’s manager who works in the global gender office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Switzerland-based organization behind the index said they hope the index will push governments to overcome the inertia seen in many countries in implementing international gender mandates in the environmental sector that have been agreed to over the last two decades. The EGI, she said, provides the first quantitative data on governments’ performance translating such mandates in the three Rio Conventions, which came out of the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, and CEDAW (Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women) into national policy and planning.
“We will not have truly done our work until whatever is done at the international level in terms of agreements can actually trickle down to your woman growing yams. Until she’s not directly benefited, we’re still talking blah, blah, blah, right? And that’s the challenge,” said Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC.