Spotlight a GEDA Member: ARROW

  1. Please tell us a little bit about yourselves and your work at ARROW.

Menka: My name is Menka Goundan. I am a feminist researcher, human rights activist and development program specialist from Fiji. I am a Senior Program Manager at the Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW). 

ARROW strives to enable women, non-binary people and young people to be equal citizens in all aspects of their lives by ensuring their sexual and reproductive health and rights are achieved.

Established in 1993 upon a needs assessment arising out of a regional women’s health project, where the originating vision was to create a resource center that would “enable women to better define and control their lives”, ARROW is a regional non-profit women and young people’s organization based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We have consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC) of the United Nations. We work closely with many national partners in countries, regional and global networks around the world, and are able to reach stakeholders in 120 countries.

2. Why is data at the intersection of gender and environment/climate important to ARROW? What inspired ARROW to become part of GEDA?  

Gender and environment / climate data is important to ARROW since effective evidence based advocacy can only happen at various levels with the availability of data. Gender disaggregated data in relation to environment and climate action can only give us the true picture of the disproportionate effects of climate change on diverse women and girls. ARROW has been advocating for this for a while now and being part of like minded organizations as part of GEDA is what inspired ARROW to join. Collective voice and continuous advocacy have the potential to take us a step further with gender disaggregated data at the intersection of gender and environment/climate.

3. What are some other programs you’re working on where gender and environment data are important, and why? 

ARROW is currently working with partners from Bangladesh, Nepal, Philippines and Fiji on the nexus of climate change and SRHR. We are also part of the SRHR and Climate Justice Coalition. In the past ARROW has done sub-regional consultations in 2022 with 35 civil society organisations (CSOs) in South and South East Asia including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Vietnam.  

4. What are some upcoming policy moments/processes you think will be important for GEDA and to raise the profile of gender-environment data (and why)? 

Upcoming is COP28 in Dubai, where it’s important to raise the profile since states at COP have agreed to the enhanced Gender Action Plan. It sets out objectives and activities under five priority areas that aim to advance knowledge and understanding of gender-responsive climate action and its coherent mainstreaming in the implementation of the UNFCCC and the work of Parties, the secretariat, United Nations entities and all stakeholders at all levels, as well as women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in the UNFCCC process.

5. Is there a specific resource you’d like to share with the GEDA Insights Network? 

ARROW brings experience and expertise in evidence based advocacy and a strength in convening in the Asia and Pacific region. ARROW hopes to strengthen and contribute to the meaningful collection and advocacy of gender disaggregated data in gender and climate/ environment.

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