Attendance data from the 2022 Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Change Conference (COP 27) has revealed the gross underrepresentation of women at the world’s biggest climate networking event. It is said that some delegation teams that took part in negotiations comprised less than 34% female and some with as high as 90% male delegates.
Shocked by these statistics, activists have expressed concern that the lack of women at negotiations underlines the depth of the gender equality issue. Out of 110 leaders present at COP27, only seven are women.
“Governments at COP27 have left women and girls, who are the most impacted by the effects of climate change on the margins of climate action”, CARE International tweeted.
Further disappointing hopeful activists was the presence of more than 600 fossil fuel lobbyists. According to the evidence available that women bear a disproportionate burden from the effects of climate change, the lack of women participating affects the outcomes of the negotiations. As predicted, the final agreement of the COP27 did not acknowledge the need for the world to wean off all fossil fuels, it is said.
The COP27 demonstrates the need for stakeholders to NGOs to do more. Campaigners claim that without greater female representation climate change cannot be tackled and as a result, women’s lives will become worse and the communities within which they work.
“It is absolutely fundamental to climate action that we educate young women and girls, but that means they must have a seat at the table at international conferences,” said the chair of the US Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Kathy Castor.