Report on Women and Children: Launch at CAN Annual Strategy Meeting 2023

Executive Summary

While Southeast Asia remains one of the most vulnerable regions to impacts of climate change, it also experienced the largest increase in emissions globally between 1990 and 2010. This trend has emerged alongside the region’s socio-economic development and move towards industrialisation. As a result of structural barriers and cultural norms in Southeast Asia Asia, women and children experience disproportionate impacts of climate change. These barriers hinder access for these vulnerable groups to rights, resources, and representation in climate action.

This report provides a situational analysis on climate action relating to women and children in Southeast Asia. Existing Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) climate policies, on a regional level, are generally gender-responsive, framed within a broader framework of sustainable development, with a positive trend towards gender-transformative action. While Nationally Determined Contributions amongst ASEAN countries have broadly adopted gender-responsive approaches, some countries have taken more significant steps in gender-transformative action, while others lag behind and are gender-blind.

While the integration of gender-budgeting provisions into national provisions can be slowly observed across ASEAN, child-budgeting provisions are mostly absent from climate resilience policies. Gender-responsive and child-sensitive budgeting for climate resilience in ASEAN is generally weak, and greater efforts need to be made to mainstream women and children into these provisions. Specific sectors pertinent to Southeast Asian climate action, namely Just Energy Transition (JET), agriculture, disaster risk reduction (DRR), and education, present differing points of entry for greater mainstreaming and action.

Governments, businesses, and civil society organisations are identified as duty bearers in the report’s recommendations for children and female-headed households. These communities, who will undoubtedly face the brunt of climate change in the region, require actions from design to implementation and accountability by both public and private actors. This is imperative to ensure women and children the appropriate access to rights, resources, and representation, when experiencing and addressing the climate crisis in the region.

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