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SOURCE: Asian Development Blog

By: Dagmar Zwebe

Two years into an ADB technical assistance project funded by the Nordic Development Fund for women to benefit from climate change mitigation efforts in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam, the importance of gender sensitization becomes clearer by the day. Below are three reasons why.

1. There’s a big knowledge gap

While climate change specialists are experts at quantifying impacts, identifying adaptation and mitigation opportunities, and championing strategies to address mitigation challenges, they are not fully aware of how to reach men and women equally with those strategies. Their exposure to the importance of gender equality has unfortunately been limited, so it is often not a matter of unwillingness, but of not fully understanding the opportunity of including half of the population so economic growth and poverty reduction can move ahead as fast as it can.

In some cases there is fear of change. During a recent high-level climate change meeting, the chairman expressed his fear that if women were “too empowered” family life would go out of balance and local culture would be disrupted, a situation he did not wish upon his country. On the other hand, women’s agencies can tell you all about the current situation of women in their country, women’s livelihoods and their roles in households and society. These agencies can detail gender imbalances, the impacts on communities, and how they have developed gender strategies and action plans to make a difference and try to lift women out of poverty. However when analyzing these strategies, it’s clear that climate change is not yet high on the agenda for women’s agencies, even if women possess extraordinary potential to contribute to climate change mitigation and natural resources management.

We are aiming to not only bring climate and gender specialists together, but also facilitate real interaction to close the gap. Just sitting at each other’s tables talking about our own interests is not going to make a difference; the goal is to understand each other’s language and goals, and create a common vision. Without showing both sides we fail to notice the difference gender-responsive mitigation initiatives can make for each of their causes. An example of this is the value chain for improved cook stoves that involves women and men as suppliers, producers, sellers and end-users so policy-makers can clearly see the social and economic benefits of gender inclusiveness.

2. Timing is everything

When working with governments on a policy/strategy/planning level, it’s important to understand the review and renewal cycles that determine the schedule for decision-making and possible intervention. Since these cycles are typically quite long (5-10 years) we must identify possible entry points that fit with project timeframes to get traction and have real opportunities to propose the integration of new approaches. Examples of this are Cambodia’s 2016-2020 Gender Mainstreaming Policy and Strategic Framework, which did not initially address climate change but now includes a range of climate-related issues and indicators.

3. Money talks

Partners countries continue to be strapped for cash and need to make difficult choices on how to spend available funds, so raising gender equality coupled with climate change higher on the agenda remains challenging. During the project, policy-makers confirmed that having available funds would make a difference. This is a task not only for national governments, but also for the whole development community. Gender inclusion should be a prerequisite to obtain climate financing in all forms and shapes, and the organizations such as the Green Climate Fund, the Climate Investment Funds or the Global Environment Facility have all taken this step. If not, half of the world’s population will benefit less—or not at all—from climate change mitigation initiatives that inadvertently widen the inequality gap.

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SOURCE: FAO

Learn more about the different factors that relate to gender inequalities embedded in land rights by exploring the country profiles, gender and land-related statistics and the recently-developed legislation assessment tool (LAT).

COUNTRY PROFILES
This database analyses the extent to which national legal frameworks and policies and programmes support the advancement of women or induce gender-differentiated access to land in 83 countries+MORE

GENDER AND LAND-RELATED STATISTICS

Land-related statistics disaggregated by gender, including the share of men and women who are agricultural holders. Access the statistics through the search tool or the interactive map. +MORE

THE LEGISLATION ASSESSMENT TOOL (LAT)

To provide prompt, targeted and effective policy advice. Based on the legal information of the country profiles, the LAT assigns scores to 30 legal indicators to identify areas where action is required and advance gender-equitable land tenure. +MORE

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September 2013

Download: Shadow Report on Women’s Land Rights in Cambodia – Analysis of the status of compliance with CEDAW articles 14, 15 and 16 (2013)

cambd1STAR Kampuchea, supported by ILC, submitted a Shadow Report on Women’s Land Rights in Cambodia – Analysis of the status of compliance with CEDAW articles 14, 15 and 16 for the CEDAW 56th session, held between 30 September to 18 October, 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Executive Summary of the submitted Shadow Report:

Executive Summary

The vast majority of Cambodians, approximately 80%, resides in rural areas, earning their livelihoods through subsistence agricultural land, fisheries and forestland which they basically depend on for daily needs and as an economic safety net (MAFF, 2006). Therefore, land forms the basis of social welfare in Cambodia, and it is this crucial dimension that this shadow report attempts to capture information on, with respect to compliance with CEDAW articles 14, 15 and 16.cambd2

To this end, a desk study; a series of consultations with provincial and commune government officials, key CSOs, and women and men CSO representatives from communities of 3 provinces were undertaken. Consultations also took place in communities in Cambodia (that STAR serves) in Romeas Hek and Chantrea Districts in Svay Rieng Province; Kandieng and Krarkor Districts in Pursat Province; and Malay and O’Chrov Districts in Banteay Meanchey Province. The results and findings of the community consultations and case studies including the initial draft of this Report were presented to the target communities to gather feedback.

Following such collection and compilation of relevant information on issues of women’s land rights, this report begins by introducing the centrality of the issue of women’s land rights, the developments in this context, and the remaining challenges with respect to complying on Articles 14, 15 and 16 of the CEDAW on the particular issue of women’s access to land and related resources. This is followed by recommendations for various key actors who are involved in ensuring the related compliance.

One key point noted in this report is that while formal guarantees exist in law and practice, enshrining women’s access to land – a key resource which can form the basis of their social welfare, substantively, this has not been the case in practice. Culture and prevailing practices have resulted in women being ill-informed of their land and resource rights and unable to have the relevant laws and policies enacted for their benefit. Moreover, the issue has been further complicated by large-scale land acquisition, which has taken place without the provision of free, informed and prior consent of the people or adequate, just compensation. Women, who are most vulnerable, are unable to resist such acquisition, which can lead to the dispossession of their land and livelihood, and can cause a further descent into poverty due to  the accumulated debts and migration they have to undertake in order to find some means to support themselves and their families.

At the end, as ILC Director, Dr. Madiodio Niasse says, there is “no ready-made solution” to address the issue of land reforms and access to land and related resources for the different populations and groups in a country. Instead, equitable and fair access to land and resources can be only formed on the basis of “socially negotiated decision-making”, and women as equal members of our society need to have a say in this decision-making. Equally, women need to be heard in order to ensure their equal rights and guarantee to the land and resources of our country”.

Read the entire document: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CEDAW/Shared%20Documents/KHM/INT_CEDAW_NGO_KHM_15172_E.pdf

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