BY GEORGINA KEKEA
WOMEN, men, young people and people with disabilities all experience climate change and disasters differently. In the recently launched Climate Change and Disaster Risk Finance Assessment Report, a part of the assessment was on gender and social inclusion analysis.
This analysis cover four areas namely, gender and social inclusion (gsi), mainstreaming gender and inclusion of other marginalised groups, opportunities for integration of gender and social inclusion into climate change and disaster risk management (CCDRM) and role of ministry of women, youth, children, children and family affairs (MWYCA) advancing the gender agenda in the CCDRM programme of Solomon Islands.
Based on the GSI analysis, six key recommendations had been made by the report. In a nutshell the recommendations are; capacity, coordination, gender equality awareness, build on investments already made, designate allocations within existing resources and new funding to support integration in the social sector and mainstream gender and social inclusion across central government sector planning and budgeting processes.
In gender equality awareness the report stresses that gender awareness is critical for addressing the perception that gender equality is unachievable in the Solomon Islands context.
“There is good precedent to demonstrate that well-integrated gender-sensitive programmes with shared governance and shared benefits are possible and accepted in the social and cultural landscape”.
This includes to support efforts to raise awareness on gender equality and its policy and regulatory framework at all levels.
“This awareness is targeted for decision makers in both national and provincial levels, communities to address dominance of male leadership and specifically for the selected National Implementing Entity (NIE),” the report says.
For Solomon Islands, the engagement of indigenous people, community representatives and cultural custodians in climate change responses and disaster risk management is equally important to make sure cultural integrity and traditional knowledge around survival and adaptation remains intact.
The gendered division of labour, different physical and health needs and vulnerabilities, older male dominance in decision making and governance, lower incomes and lesser livelihood opportunities of women and youth all lead to increased inequalities in the context of climate change and disasters. A gender-sensitive and inclusive approach is reported to be part of a paradigm shift.
This pillar on GSI has only been added to the Pacific climate change finance assessment framework with one other Pacific Island country, Tonga including it as part of its assessment.
By carrying out this GSI analysis, government is committed to its position as a good international citizen, recognising that progressing gender equality advances progress and benefits for all.