11 juni 2020

Flicka som bär en kruka på huvudet, vid en flod

Part 3: Building global resilience through a feminist climate policy

#feminist policies for climate justice

A central commitment of the Paris Agreement is to strengthen the ability of countries, particularly developing countries, to deal with the impacts of climate change. Indeed, it is women, girls and marginalised groups living in poverty and conflict that are most affected.

This in an extract from Part 3 of the publication “Feminist policies for climate justice”. The extract includes summaries and recommendations of the three chapters in Part 3.

If adaptation and climate resilience programmes lack an intersectional gender perspective, and fail to involve women and girls in decisions and planning, they will not have the anticipated effect. Even worse, women and girls can face even greater suppression, violence and insecurity. A Swedish feminist foreign policy needs to consider these gender aspects in adaptation and climate resilience efforts.


Women and girls living in poverty are not only uniquely and disproportionately affected by climate change, they are also the ones who directly deal with and have to find local solutions to problems related to the consequences of climate change on a daily basis. Through development cooperation and engagement at the EU level and via other multilateral initiatives, Sweden should step up adaptation and climate resilience efforts that break gender barriers and increase women’s and girls’ access and rights to land and other natural resources.


  • Sweden should, through its development cooperation, bilateral dialogues and engagement on global and EU levels, advocate for stronger efforts to fulfil the promises made and the strategic objectives in the Beijing Platform for Action and step up adaptation and climate resilience efforts that break gender barriers and increase women’s and girls’ access and rights to land and other natural resources. The review process of the Beijing Platform’s first 25 years of implementation is a key opportunity for Sweden to raise this issue and provide suggestions of suitable measures.
  • Sweden should advocate for UN, EU and international climate funds, such as the Green Climate Fund’s Readiness Programme, to increase development cooperation and adaptation funding for sustainable rural development that strengthens women’s and girls’ economic, social and political empowerment, with a special focus on small-scale female farmers and fish workers and their participation in local adaptation and mitigation action plans and programmes.
  • Sweden should reconsider its “no” vote on the UN’s Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas and instead vote for “yes” in support of the declaration.
  • In its multilateral and bilateral development cooperation, Sweden should advocate for recognising nearshore harvesting and processing as fishing activities in policies, programmes, and regulations, and track and monitor data on nearshore harvesting and processing at community and national levels.
  • At the EU level, Sweden should support the implementation of the voluntary guidelines for securing sustainable small-scale fisheries in the context of food security and poverty eradication in the EU common fishery policy, and specifically ensure participation of women in the negotiation, implementation and evaluation of EU partnership agreements on sustainable fisheries with third countries. Sweden should also support their implementation in low-income countries through its development cooperation and engagement on EU development cooperation.

Organisations that have contributed to this text

Afrikagrupperna, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) and We Effect.


Impacts of the climate crisis such as droughts, severe floods and unpredictable weather patterns directly affect the accessibility to clean and safe water. Women and girls living in situations affected by poverty, conflict and instability already face disproportionately limited access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene, exposing them to discrimination and violence, and limiting their rights. Access to resilient, inclusive and gender-responsive water, sanitation and hygiene should be at the center of adaptation and climate resilience strategies, which Sweden should contribute to through its development cooperation and engagement in international climate funds.


  • As an important contributor to the Green Climate Fund, Sweden should advocate for the fund’s Readiness Programme to sufficiently promote women’s and girls’ access to gender-responsive WASH, and support national governments on gender-responsive WASH in their national adaptation programmes.
  • Capacity strengthening should be ensured at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, and the Ministry of the Environment, as well as Sida, for better coordination on the linkages between climate change adaptation, access to water, sanitation and hygiene, and gender.
  • Sweden should take inspiration from Canada’s feminist international assistance policy action and in its 2021 action plan for the feminist foreign policy address the nexus between climate change, WASH and gender with concrete measures for its advancement in climate resilience and adaptation efforts.
  • Sweden should support governments and accredited partners in low income countries to develop climate-resilient and gender-responsive WASH programmes.

Organisations that have contributed to this text

The Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU) and WaterAid.


Climate change is, and will increasingly become, a factor behind migration and scarce resources, which can in turn lead to conflict. From a human security perspective, long-term effects of climate change are as much of a security threat as war and armed conflict. Women and girls are particularly vulnerable to these threats, as for example with respect to sexual and gender-based violence. Swedish policymakers need to make sure that climate and foreign policies to a larger extent address the linkages between climate, gender and conflict and that this is prioritised in Sweden’s international engagement.


  • The Swedish government should further develop its analysis of the linkages between gender, climate and conflict, which should feed into the 2023 action plan for the climate policy framework.
  • The Swedish Climate Policy Council should in its yearly evaluation include the climate effect of the Swedish armed forces. In addition, the Swedish Armed Forces should start to publicly report on their emissions.
  • The Swedish government should introduce a broader definition of security to include how “slow” and “hot” violence are linked with climate change in the ongoing review of Sweden’s national action plan on 1325. Sweden should also promote a new WPS resolution at the international level that links gender, conflict (including “hot” and “slow” violence) and climate change.
  • Under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Sweden should push for updates and revisions of the 2019 gender action plan and should seek to include a conflict perspective. This should also be linked to the WPS agenda.
  • In the revision of the EU Gender Action Plan, Sweden should advocate for a stronger integration of climate change, and how “slow” and “hot” violence that comes from climate change and environmental degradation affect women and girls.

Organisations that have contributed to this text

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Sweden, The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, Operation 1325 and PMU.