14 May 2022

Approaches for Gender-Responsive GCM Implementation in the Context of Migration and Climate Change

  • Date
    17 May 2022, 08:00am
  • Location
    Online / EDT time
  • Organizer

    Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, IGAD, UN Women, UN Network on Migration working streams on gender and race (tbc), Robert Bosch Stiftung

Side-Event at the International Migration Review Forum

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Climate change, environmental crises and disasters disproportionately affect women and girls, in particular those in vulnerable and marginalized situations. In turn, gender inequalities and women’s unequal access to land and natural resources, finance, technology, knowledge, mobility, and other assets constrain the ability of women to respond and cope in contexts of climate and environmental crises and disasters.  

In this event a diverse panel will discuss and emphasize the over-looked interrelation between human mobility in the context of climate change (HMCCC) and gender. It will bring together leading thinkers and stakeholders from different fields who will highlight existing gaps and present case studies, and good practices that illustrate the impacts of the gender dimensions of HMCCC and propose innovative gender-responsive approaches to address them. The objective is to promote concrete action for a gender-responsive implementation of the GCM. 

Climate change and environmental crises cause loss of livelihoods and depletion of natural resources fueling migration and displacement. By 2050, up to 216 million people could move within their countries as a result of climate change. While sex-disaggregated data is limited or unavailable, evidence suggests that the adverse effects of climate change affect women and girls in developing countries most, especially across Africa. They face a heightened risk of gender-based violence and child marriage, negative impacts on maternal and neonatal health and a greater burden of unpaid care and domestic work.  

Human mobility can influence gender dynamics by both, entrenching traditional gender roles and perpetuating existing inequalities as well as by challenging and changing them. If HMCCC is well managed, it can generate opportunities for women in receiving and sending communities, such as changes in leadership roles, including in the context of adaptation and mitigation strategies to address the climate crisis. 

The Global Compact for Migration (GCM) includes gender-responsiveness as one of ten guiding principles and under Objective 2, climate change, environmental degradation, and disasters were identified as adverse drivers that compel people to leave their country of origin. In addition, the Paris Agreement underscores the centrality of gender equality and the empowerment of women and the Commission on the Status of Women, at its sixty-sixth session, considered “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes” a priority theme.  

However, regional and national legal and policy frameworks on HMCCC do not yet provide a cohesive basis for gender-responsive migration governance that fulfils the rights and needs of women and girls, nor do they ensure women’s participation in decision-making. Major challenges include (1) lack of disaggregated data and research, (2) policy gaps, (3) limited stakeholder coordination, (4) lack of capacity and (5) a lack of gender responsive practical approaches. This event is a call for action to close existing gaps and ensure HMCCC is addressed in a gender-responsive manner. 


Moderation: Ms Carolina Gottardo, Women in Migration Network 

Opening Remarks: Mr Niels Annen, Parliamentary State Secretary, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ): Climate change and migration in the light of a Feminist Development Policy 


  • Mr Workneh Gebeyehu, Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) (tbc): Integrating gender into policies and action planning in the context of climate change-related migration and displacement 
  • Ms Sima Bahous, Executive Director, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) (tbc): Mainstreaming gender equality considerations into policy making, service provision and programming on migration and climate change 
  • Mr Alexander Muteshi, Director General, Immigration and Citizens Services, (Kenya):       Gender-responsive approaches for addressing human mobility in the context of disasters and climate change at the national level 

Closing Remarks: Ms. Ugochi Daniels, Deputy Director General for Operations, IOM  

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