Launch of the Feminist Coalition for Climate Justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina

October 3, 2022

The Feminist Coalition for Climate Justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina was officially presented and launched in Sarajevo today, with the aim to accelerate progress in the field of gender-just climate action until 2026. This Coalition is one of the six Action Coalitions within the UN Women’s global "Generation Equality" initiative, which BiH joined in 2021. This is the fourth coalition launched in BiH as part of this initiative, which will bring together representatives of the governments, civil society, youth organizations, international organizations, the private sector, and more.

Women are disproportionately affected by climate change and have fewer opportunities to educate themselves about environmental issues. In addition, they are often left out of the decision-making process that would protect their interests, because men mostly occupy leadership positions. Empowering women to become leaders in climate change mitigation is an essential goal of this coalition. Women should be able to demand climate justice, but this is only possible when they are equipped with the tools and knowledge to hold everyone accountable and break down the barriers that hinder access to resources.

Vulnerable groups and population in an unfavorable social position are much more exposed to the climate change and environmental risks, which additionally deteriorates the existing inequalities. Women are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change, because they are more likely to be economically dependent, less likely to participate in planning and decision-making, and in general have more responsibility for caring for children and other family members. That is why we believe it is important to establish this Action Coalition in BiH, which will contribute to integrating the principles of gender equality, social equality and poverty issues into all phases of environmental management.
Samra Hadžiabdić-Filipović, Director of the BiH Agency for Gender Equality

The Coalition priorities include transition to an inclusive and regenerative green economy that recognizes the interconnection of climate change and gender equality. Key to achieving this, is promoting women's access to finance for gender-equitable climate solutions, strengthening women's participation in environmental governance and the green economy, increasing access to finance for gender-equitable climate solutions, building community-based cooperative models to build resilience and ensuring accountability for data by strengthening gender-vital statistics.

Gender equality is an important accelerator for the realization of UN Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

BiH is a signatory to the most important international conventions in the field of environment and climate change. Gender Action is central to these commitments and should guide action plans and official reporting across the country. The development of the Environmental Strategy and Action Plan 2030+ in BiH is an opportunity to promote gender considerations in all environmental policy areas. Yet for these plans to have real impact we need to see accessible and high-quality gender and environment data that informs policy making. I hope that today’s launch of the Feminist Coalition for Climate Justice will strengthen cooperation across all line institutions and enhance systemic solutions in the areas of climate justice and related gender perspectives.
Dr. Ingrid Macdonald, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in BiH

The Coalition is launched in cooperation with UNDP in BiH, which has the gender equality principles at the core of its mandate and this is one of the six signature solutions within UNDP’s current Strategic Plan. In addition, UNDP in BiH joined the global UNDP initiative Gender Equality Seal 2021 - 2023, which creates incentives for strong action in the field of gender equality and helps improve organizational efficiency in order to achieve results and greater consistency of performance. 

UNDP will work with government institutions and non-governmental organizations to identify missing data related to gender and the environment, focusing more on mitigation and adoption to climate change, as well as on reducing the risk of a disaster. We hope that these data will provide information for the creation of policies in BiH, and contribute to the preparation of a national report on Agenda 2024, as well as to the country's reporting on various mechanisms for human rights.
Stephen Kinloch Pichat, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in BiH

David Saunders, Representative of UN Women in BiH, chaired the panel discussion on the topic of gender and the environment, which included panelists from the BiH Agency for Statistics, Gorana Knežević and Aida Eskić-Pihljak as well as Selma Hadžihalilović from the CURE Foundation and Lejla Kusturica from the ACT Foundation. 

Climate action is an important accelerator of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Women must be fully integrated and involved into planning, design and implementation of disaster risk reduction policies and programs, as well as activities tackling climate action. Only an inclusive approach at community level will allow us to genuinely reduce risks, ensure more efficient solutions and the equal participation of both women and men. These actions are key to building rounded, resilient systems that ensure sustainable development.
David Saunders, Representative of UN Women in BiH