Innovative projects related to “Women and climate” in Asia with UN Women

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“Women and Climate” projects, 1 year on

In 2018, Fondation CHANEL began a multi-year strategic partnership with UN Women to support various innovative projects on the theme “Women and Climate” in Asia. A major investment in terms of resources and support which, one and a half year on, is already achieving excellent results.

 

Although not widely recognised today, the role of women in addressing climate challenges is key due to their in-depth knowledge of work in rural areas and their expertise in the sustainable management of resources. By working together, the Fondation and UN Women have sought to emphasise the important link between fighting gender inequality and combatting climate change.

In the framework of this partnership, three different countries and contexts have been selected for program implementation.

In Mainland China

In Mainland China, women represent 60% of workers in rural areas and they have a vital role in food production and distribution to their communities. The program focuses specifically on the Qinghai region and aims to strengthen the financial stability of 40,000 beneficiaries and to improve their resilience to climate change. Through practice sharing, operational support, local advocacy and training, women farmers participating in the project stabilise and increase their incomes, using environmentally sustainable methods. To date, hundreds of specific training sessions have been provided (mainly to women but also to male workers to raise their awareness of gender issues) and nearly 15,000 women are implementing new working methods.

In Nepal

In Nepal women benefit less from economic activities than men, as a result of widespread gender stereotypes which represent a major obstacle to women’s empowerment. Limited access to technology, training and financial services also contribute to such discrimination. Through community mobilisation on these issues, professional training and training on new technologies, the programme aims to enable the women beneficiaries to gain the necessary skills to increase their financial autonomy. Particular attention is paid to adapting the new skills learned by these women, living in rural areas, to climate and environmental changes. 1,300 women will receive specific training and will be contributing as a result to changing attitudes as well as to combatting climate disruption.

In Vietnam

Vietnam is ranked among the 10 countries most vulnerable to and most affected by climate change and natural disasters. The programme has a dual objective: to develop the financial autonomy of women working in rural areas and to improve their participation in local policies on reducing risks related to environmental changes. New farming techniques are introduced, such as growing lotus flowers on flooded agricultural land usually used for rice. This type of innovative and appropriate response has contributed to significant increases in the incomes of women farmers. These specific local solutions are currently being disseminated in three of the country’s provinces.

At the conclusion of the years of programme implementation, new data and evaluations will provide key lessons so that effective methods for strengthening resilience to climate change, combined with economic and financial empowerment of women, can be replicated in other regions or countries.

 

Photo credit: UN Women