On May 3, 2018, the People, Health, Planet team hosted a webinar titled “The Gender Action Plan (GAP) from a Reproductive Health Perspective.” Facilitated by PRB policy analyst, Laura Cooper Hall, the webinar included guest speakers from the Women’s Environment & Development Organization (WEDO), Sex & Samfund – The Danish Family Planning Association (DFPA), and the PHE Ethiopia Consortium (Population Health Environment).
Cooper Hall provided background on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), its Conference of Parties (COPs), and how health―particularly reproductive health―has been included in the COPs. She also introduced the first ever Gender Action Plan (GAP) to the UNFCCC. Bridget Burns, codirector of WEDO, discussed health and gender in the UNFCCC, highlighting the value of diverse health actors and advocates and challenges for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocates. Burns also identified entry points for SRHR in the climate policy arena, including the GAP.
Ida Klockmann, advocacy officer at DFPA and coordinator of the Population and Sustainable Development Alliance (PSDA), outlined the links between SRHR, family planning, and climate adaptation, and introduced the status of SRHR in climate change policies at the United Nations (UN) level. She explained how the DFPA and PSDA partners advocate for SRHR to be integrated in climate change policies through recognition of it as a goal and a means to improve resilience and enable climate adaptation at the UN policy level. Klockmann identified how SRHR and family planning could be included in the GAP, according to four of its five priority areas.
Finally, Negash Teklu, executive director of the PHE Ethiopia Consortium, shared his experiences representing the PHE community before policy actors at the UNFCCC and its COPs since 2009. Teklu detailed the various ways he has advocated for the integration of SRHR and gender into climate change responses, including as a government delegate and member of different advocacy networks.
These three speakers provided diverse approaches on how SRHR has been and can be included in the UNFCCC. They highlighted the need for SRHR’s continued inclusion in climate adaptation policies while recognizing the valuable advocacy opportunities and entry points already available to SRHR advocates.