CPA Parliamentary Academy

Gender and Climate Change at the Commonwealth Women's Forum

Kigali, Rwanda
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Event Details

Title: Gender and Climate Change: Interactions and Opportunities for Progress

Date: 21 June 2022

Time: 09.00 - 11.00 UTC+2

Location: Kigali, Rwanda

A Commonwealth Women's Forum event at the Commonwealth Heads of the Government Meeting (CHOGM)


Commonwealth can accelerate gender equality and women’s empowerment (“the Vision”). It aims to demonstrate the value addition of greater inclusion of all women as a transformational element bringing diversity into governance processes across political, public and private spheres. Inclusive processes are more likely to reflect the different needs and priorities of different members or groups of society and therefore contribute to stability, sustainability and prosperity for all.

This session will be a platform to highlight how, for the fight against climate change to be successful, it is necessary to include and promote women as vital changemakers and ensure their seat at the policy and decision-making table. With several Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other vulnerable territories, including cities, home to large informal communities, in the Commonwealth already feeling the harsh effects of climate change and other disaster risks, all sectors of society must be united in protecting the diverse communities of the Commonwealth family.

However, employing a gender-responsive approach to climate policy and planning is separate from, and cannot be guaranteed through, the improved representation of women alone. Gender-responsive funding has been identified as a critical issue by several leading climate organisations when looking at the intersection of gender and climate change. Accordingly, participants will be encouraged to discuss and consider sources of climate funding and other support mechanisms, both through traditional project support, through the allocation of existing funding streams or through climate-focused gender budgeting by governments.

In delivering this message and issuing a call to action, this session will aim to highlight the impacts of climate change on women and girls particularly, the initiatives and measures being delivered, and the importance of more inclusive leadership to ensure that the needs of all stakeholders are addressed. Importantly, these conversations will highlight disaster risk reduction and the session will take a holistic view of the issue, by looking at the macro- and micro-level when it comes to climate change and climate vulnerability. Furthermore, when looking at the micro-level, this session will aim to highlight the lived experiences of women at the grassroots level, including instances of innovation and best practices from the Commonwealth’s diverse communities.


Mr Unnikrishnan Nair – Head of Climate Change at the Commonwealth Secretariat

Ms Yvonne Aki Sawyerr – Mayor of Freetown

Maliha Khan - CEO Women Deliver

Hon. Regina Esparon, MNA – Member of the National Assembly of the Seychelles

Dr Carla Barnett - Secretary-General, CARICOM


Moderator: Dr Laine Munir – Research Fellow, African Leadership University


This is a closed event for Commonwealth Women's Forum attendees only. If you are attending the Commonwealth Women's Forum and would like to participate in this event, please email James Pinnell, Deputy Head of Programmes,


The CPA is committed to inclusivity and accessibility at all its events and programmes. Should you have any accessibility requirements, please contact the CPA Secretariat at

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding this event, please contact James Pinnell, Deputy Head of Programmes,

Related Resources

CWP Gender Sensitising Parliaments Guidelines: Standards and a Checklist for Parliamentary Change

These guidelines have been created to help Commonwealth Parliaments to become gender sensitive institutions, providing legislatures with an outline of gender sensitising standards that they can look to achieve. 

Climate Change and Small States: Parliamentary Toolkit

The Toolkit seeks to support parliamentarians from small states and jurisdictions to increase their understanding of Climate Change and how best to ensure adaptation and mitigation strategies are in place domestically and internationally.