Momentum For Change: Women For Results Event

  • Speech, check against delivery

A changing climate impacts us all - but notequally.

We know that women and girls aredisproportionally impacted by climate change, particularly in developingcountries.

They experience pervasive and persistentinequality and discrimination that limits their ability to adapt and respond.

Their livelihoods are often dependent onthose sectors where the impacts are most acutely felt - such as agriculture,forestry and water.

We all support an effective response toclimate change - but the response can only be effective if the experiences andcapacities of women are valued and embraced.

The enduring success of the historicagreements of 2015 – think of this, in 2015 we have the Sendai Framework forDisaster Risk Reduction, the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and, of course, thehistoric Paris Agreement – the success of these three agreements is dependentupon effectively engaging women and girls – and this is true for every globalchallenge.

Australia is committed to translating the ambitions enshrined in these globalcommitments into practical, gender-responsive action.

And we're at the forefront of efforts topromote the empowerment of women and girls, particularly in our region, theIndian Ocean and the Pacific.

I have set atarget within our Overseas Development Assistance Program that at least80 per cent of investments have to effectively consider genderequality throughout their implementation.

When we seta target like that, and people start thinking about the impact of an aidprogram, and recognise that we have to look at gender equality in how weimplement it, you do see results.

We have aflagship program focusing on Pacific women and it really does capture ourcommitment to advancing gender equality.

The programprovides $320 million to improve the political, economic and social opportunitiesof Pacific women.

Last week Imet with eminent women and men from across the Pacific to discuss the progressmade as a result of this program and the challenges ahead.

We actuallyestablished a Gender Equality Fund to support innovative investments thataccelerate progress towards gender equality.

We areseeing the benefits already.

I am proudthat an investment under the fund is being showcased here today - the 'W+Standard', developed by WOCAN - Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and NaturalResource Management.

WOCAN'sinnovative approach certifies economic or environment projects that createsocial and economic benefits for women.

The 'W+Standard' is already being utilised in Cambodia where women represent more than90 per cent of stove users. Here the standard is being applied to promotewomen's financial inclusion and access to clean energy.

I thinkWOCAN have done a wonderful job and I congratulate them on receiving a Momentumfor Change Awardand recognise the UNFCCC Secretariat for theircontinued efforts to highlight transformational climate change activities.

Women, asagents of change, are critical in meeting the challenges of climate change andthe pursuit of sustainable development.

And let'sface it, women bring particular perspectives, priorities and strengths fromtheir life experiences.

Removingbarriers to women's leadership is a priority for Australia.

And when Isay leadership, I mean not just political, but leadership in the family andcommunities, towns, provinces and politics.

We arecommitted to increasing the influence of women in driving solutions to climatechange, including through strengthening their participation in UNFCCCprocesses.

At COP21, Iwas pleased to announce Australia's support to harness the talents of the nextgeneration of female negotiators, including through negotiator training forPacific women delegates.

And I know anumber of the women who received this training are here today in Marrakesh,pursuing their countries national interests.

We alsosupport the ProPa network - a collaboration of government actors in the Pacificthat works to ensure social inclusion and gender issues are integrated intoclimate change action and humanitarian response.

Four membersof this network are also here in Marrakesh.

Australiawas a strong advocate for the inclusion of gender in the Paris Agreement.

We supportthe ongoing efforts of Parties and the UNFCCC to promote gender issues throughthe Lima Work Programme on Gender.

The WorkProgramme has strengthened awareness and understanding of the differentialimpacts of climate change and the importance of women's empowerment to lastingclimate action.

We mustcontinue this good work.

Linking ouraction on gender equality and climate change is not just the right thing to do,it's the smart thing to do– it will accelerate our transition to more resilientlow emissions future.

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