Women, Peace and Climate Regional Network Meeting, 3 – 4 February

On 3 – 4 February 2024 we held a regional network meeting focusing on ‘Women, Peace and Climate’ in Erbil International Hotel. This meeting was implemented within the framework of the Women Talking Peace project which is funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Government.

The meeting aimed at strengthening the network of women alumni of the project at a national and regional level. It provided a space for the exchange of experiences and best practices in the field of women’s participation in peacebuilding and discussion of environmental issues facing the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The meeting focused on the climate impacts and challenges women are facing in the MENA region and discussed tools, methods and ways to respond to these challenges, whether at the local or governmental level. 42 women participated in this meeting, representing the following countries: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Mauritania, Tunisia, Algeria, Sudan and Yemen.

The participants stressed a basic problem, namely the direct link between the impact of climate change and the effects of conflicts on women. They agreed that talking about climate justice may be considered a luxury today in the absence of budgets and the continuation of conflicts.

The participants presented an overall strategy linking climate justice with social justice and sustainable development with a primary focus on the fifth and thirteenth goals. This vision should be based on four main pillars: an approach based on women’s rights, participation in decision-making, addressing societal inequality, and reducing the economic gap.

They came up with a specific vision: empowered women leaders and influential people who are able to participate in adaptation, creating sustainable solutions and decision-making at all political, economic and social levels and women who have access to resources and promote the use of clean energy.