although women play a central but disproportionate role in sustaining livelihoods and the environment, there is little evidence that specific adaptation efforts, policies, funding and institutions target them (Mitchell et al., 2007). The voices of economically poor women from the South are rarely heard in negotiations on climate change adaptation and processes (ibid.).
Hence, in the future, it will be important to increase women’s participation and meaningful inputs into to adaptation to climate change discussions, dialogues, policy-making and institutions. In particular, this can be done by ensuring that women professionals and gender experts participate and provide substantive inputs in all decisions related to climate change. Women’s participation can also be ensured by UNFCCC compliance with human rights frameworks, international and national commitments on gender equality and equity, including CEDAW (Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women) and CRC (Convention on the Rights of the Child). It will also be
important in the future to balance representation by gender in the delegation of parties in U.N. climate negotiations, UNFCCC and COP for instance (see graph below). Of equal importance is ensuring the integration of gender concepts, approaches, inclusion and equity in all phases and aspects of development funding for projects and programmes, from conceptualisation, design, implementation, gender budgeting, evaluation and reporting, supporting collective action and networking on gender and climate change, and ensuring the meaningful participation and substantive inputs of differently positioned women in customary institutions.
All of these issues and inequalities described above undermine their capacity to cope, adapt and increase their vulnerability to the negative effects of climate change. This especially emerges as a serious issue, with acute and problematic consequences, in the case for climate induced and related disasters brought on by too much too little water.