|Elisa Fernandez Saenz, Country Representative of UN Women in Việt Nam. —VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Elisa Fernandez Saenz, Country Representative of UN Women in Việt Nam, has recommended the country put women and girls at the centre of decision-making in policies on climate, the environment, and disaster risks.
In an interview with Vietnam News Agency (VNA), she noted the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow,” aimed to recognise contributions by women and girls across the world, who bear most of the responsibility in climate change adaptation.
The theme also matches the priority of the UN Commission on the Status of Women: “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes.”
Around the world, gender inequality, the climate and environmental crises are the biggest challenges to sustainable development, with a disproportionate impact on women and girls, especially the vulnerable and fringe groups, according to Saenz.
The socio-economic impact of the pandemic has increased effects of climate and environmental crises and pushed people further into extreme poverty, she said, adding that women and girls often suffered from more adverse impacts.
In Việt Nam, severe droughts and floods over the past years have caused significant economic losses and led to negative consequences on every aspect of people’s lives, particularly the most vulnerable groups.
The UN Women official cited international experience showing that policies and programmes on climate, the environment, and disaster risks will have the best effect if women and girls are put at the centre of decision-making.
She suggested Việt Nam mainstream gender perspectives in policies on disaster, climate, and environmental risk reduction; promote women and girls’ full and equal participation and leadership in climate, environmental, and disaster actions and risk management; and build up the resilience of women, girls and women’s organisations.
The country should also increase prevention, response to, and settlement of gender-based and sexual violence in all the climate and environmental crises and disasters; boost funding for gender-responsive initiatives on climate, the environment, and disaster risks; assist women’s organisations, businesses, and cooperatives; while improving and investing in researching the links between gender and the environment, she added. — VNS