Counting on a Sustainable Future: 
Global Conference on Gender and Environment Data

An official event of the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28)

For a sustainable future, we need gender and environment data, but do we have enough? 

As part of existing global efforts to expand the understanding of the gender-environment nexus, the Offices of the President of the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) and the UN Climate Change High Level Champions, UNFCCC, UN Women, IUCN, and WEDO convened a global conference on gender and environment data, from 28-29 November 2023. Speakers and participants included UN Agencies, government officials and policy makers, leaders and commitment makers of the Feminist Action for Climate Justice Action Coalition and the Gender Environment Data Alliance (GEDA), private foundations, civil society organizations, indigenous leaders and local communities and academia. More than 200 participants (in-person and virtually) came together to signal the need for urgent action to increase the collection and use of gender and environment data to fuel gender-responsive climate and environment action globally. 

To see the official event page, please click here.

The outcome of the Conference and its discussions, the Call to Action calls on all world leaders, policymakers, key actors in gender and environment data systems, and decision-makers to urgently:

1.  Promote and prioritize the production of gender and environment data, in an ethical and transparent way.

2.  Accelerate the use and uptake of gender-environment data for decision-making, program development, monitoring, research and advocacy.

3.  Finance and invest in gender-environment data production and use.

4.  Ensure global, regional and national statistical and data governance processes are inclusive.

5.  Create and strengthen multi-stakeholder partnerships for gender and environment data.

Read the full text of the Call to Action of the Gender and Environment Data Conference here! 

Watch the recordings of the Conference:

Day 1

Day 2

Conference Recap

The Conference featured many members of GEDA as speakers, in addition to the co-conveners and GEDA members who contributed to its overall organization. Continue reading for summaries of the interventions of GEDA members who participated at the conference! 

Opening Remarks

Sarah Hendricks (Deputy Executive Director for Policy, Programme, Civil Society, and Intergovernmental Support, a.i., UN Women) highlighted the importance of gender and environment data, as well as the particular opportunity of this conference to promote climate action through comprehensive and timely gender data. “We need gender data in order to advance gender equality effectively in climate action,” she stated.  The vast majority of data – whether AI, geospatial, machine-learning, citizen-driven – can be used for good, but it needs to consider the specificities of women and girls.  

Cecilia Kinuthia-Njenga (Director, Intergovernmental Support and Collective Progress, UNFCCC) discussed the links between the Conference of Parties and the Gender Environment Data Conference, highlighting how gender environment data is still a key missing piece in the efforts in climate action. She also remarked on the timeliness of conversations, with COP just ahead of the Conference, as well as connecting the event with the Global Stocktake and how data interconnects with all of these pieces.

H.E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak (IUCN President and UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP28) gave a general contextualization of the impact of climate change on women and girls, describing how they are both the frontline of climate actions and stewards of natural resources. H.E. Razan also established a connection to COP28 and how throughout both Conferences we must continue to underline the symbiotic relation between climate and nature, the importance of inclusivity and how critical it is to empower women and girls in climate action. She highlighted three key principles for the Conference:

1. Advancing gender equality through just transition; 
2. Moving the dial forward on gender-responsive finance; and
3. Improving gender environment data. 

“Without data we can never truly have a gender-responsive finance system, and without that we cannot have a truly just transition.”

Katie Tobin (Senior Program Manager, WEDO) underlined WEDO’s commitment to gender and environment data. As a global women’s advocacy group with a thirty-year history, WEDO is actively engaged in the UNFCCC and has played a crucial role, including being a founding member of the Women and Gender Constituency. Katie mentioned WEDO’s Gender Climate Tracker, a tool monitoring global gender-responsive climate action, and highlighted the critical data collected on women’s participation in UNFCCC spaces over the past decade. Katie also introduced GEDA to the Conference audience, stressing the importance of inclusive data sources. She mentioned GEDA’s scoping work that revealed the need to diversify sources and publishers of gender-environment data and research. 

Session 1: Setting the Scene: What does the gender-environment nexus mean for achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment? 

Laura Turquet (Policy Advisor and Deputy Chief of Research and Data, UN Women) emphasized the mounting influence of climate change on gender issues, describing it as a gradual and fragile force that poses a threat to the strides made in gender equality. She drew attention to compelling evidence, notably the link between climate change and an escalation in gender-based violence, as evidenced by UN Women’s research in the Asia-Pacific, underscoring the need for targeted interventions. Laura also emphasized the need for disaggregation of disaster data by gender. This approach recognizes the importance of nuanced and granular information, shedding light on overlooked aspects that conventional data collection might miss. 

Liane Schalatek, (Associate Director, Heinrich Boell Stiftung) emphasized the centrality of finance and the challenges arising from a lack of specified and detailed climate and gender data. Liane stressed the need to focus on gender-responsive finance, urging scrutiny at both domestic and national levels, with a particular emphasis on climate finance. She highlighted that public climate finance is an obligation for developed countries to support developing nations, but there is a gap in tracking how much is targeted at women’s empowerment and gender action plans. Although many climate funds have gender policies and require gender analyses or action plans, there is insufficient tracking of the actual allocation and impact of these funds at the local level. Liane expressed concern about the lack of detailed data on the finance’s destination, beneficiaries, and decision-making processes, particularly in consideration of gender-responsive finance. Finally, Liane emphasized that while more granular data would strengthen efforts, the absence of data should not be an excuse for inaction, as there is already knowledge on effective actions from a human rights and gender equality perspective.

Session 2: Making Women and Girls Visible: Understanding the state of gender and environment data

Krista Jones Baptista (Executive Director, Data2X) moderated this panel, intended to “share best practices, gaps and lessons learned in the production of official statistics on gender to foster greater understanding collective learning and move us forward.”

Sara Duerto Valero (Regional Gender Statistics Specialist, UN Women) highlighted the lack of appropriate gender indicators in existing global monitoring frameworks, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Of 231 SDG indicators in the SDGs, 77-90 are related to the environment, and then 4-10 are gender-environment indicators, and then out of those we only have data for 2. In the Sendai Framework and the Convention on Biological Diversity, there are zero gender environment indicators. Sara shared that UN Women is working with the UN Statistics Division to mainstream gender into these frameworks — crucial because if gender and environment indicators are not a requirement, then no capacity is dedicated to reporting on them. Sara also remarked that we actually do have data and we do have solutions to fill the gender data gaps. She suggested:

  1. Integrating geospatial information with survey information to compare climate related variables with gender-related variables; 
  2. Analyzing Big Data – as UN Women has done in terms of examining Google searches in times of disaster to determine spikes in gender-based violence; and 
  3. Modeling and forecasting. 

Session 6: Barriers to Solutions: Financing for gender and environment data

Jacqueline Patterson (Executive Director, The Chisholm Legacy Project) moderated this panel. Jacqui shared that data is a double edged sword if it’s not the folks impacted who are telling the stories. What gets measured matters, and although this shouldn’t necessarily be true, it is, she said, especially in the context of the non-profit industrial complex. Data should center frontline communities. Jacqui offered powerful questions to frame the discussion:

  • “How do we shift these narratives, how do we control the narrative, how do we not let others convey our narratives?”
  • “How do we ensure the financing goes to frontline-community led storytelling?”
  • “How do we discuss the false notions of scarcity and embrace the real notions of abundance?”

Mariam Ibrahim (Growth and Partnerships Lead, Development Initiatives) described the two core areas of DI’s work: financing and improving the financing data ecosystem, focusing on organizations that are working on environment, organizations that are working on gender and organizations that are working on data. Mariam also focused on the importance of tracking investments in gender data. For example, the conversation on inclusivity has focused on the data side (collection, use and analysis) but this inclusivity can also be applied to the financing data ecosystem. Building a foundational data ecosystem means improving transparency and avoiding duplication of efforts, she stated.

Session 7: The Road to a Sustainable Tomorrow: A Global Call to Action on Gender and Environment Data

In the final substantive session of the conference, H.E. Razan Al Mubarak (IUCN President and COP28 UN Climate Change High-Level Champion) highlighted the crucial role of gender equality in COP28. She emphasized that numbers convey stories requiring nuance and social context, advocating for representation to avoid repeating mistakes in building an equitable economy. H.E. Razan pointed out the gap between financial pledges and on-the-ground support, stressing the need for local solutions to the global climate crisis. She called for disrupting the limited support reaching indigenous communities, underscoring the importance of a comprehensive approach that combines data, representation, and localized strategies.

Relevant Articles

  1. COP28 Global Gender and Environment Data Conference calls for increased support to data production and use to inform climate action, IUCN

  2. Call to Action: Counting on a sustainable future for all through gender and environment data, UN Women
Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from - Youtube
Consent to display content from - Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from - Google
Consent to display content from - Spotify
Sound Cloud
Consent to display content from - Sound
Skip to content