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Paris Agreement and Women – Locating Health in the Climate Change Discourse

November 23, 2016 img-20161109-wa0013

ARROW and Population and Sustainable Development Alliance (PSDA) organized a side event at #COP22 on the 9th of November.

Evidence has shown that climate change impacts the health of the population. This was reaffirmed when the Second Global Conference Health and Climate held from 7-8 July 2016 in Paris came up with an Action Agenda for COP22 emphasising the urgent need to address health in the context of climate change.

The Paris Agreement is considered a landmark document as it is not just an environment treaty, but also a “health treaty…with its central reference to human right, including right to health” according to the Director-General of the World Health Organization. Also, for the first time a climate change agreement in its preamble acknowledges the “rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations…as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity.”

Extreme climate change event affect everyone, however, girls and women are disproportionally affected in terms of health, especially their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). SRHR is often neglected in the context of climate change. For an example, SRHR is not incorporated into most countries’ National Climate Change Policies and National Adaptation Plan of Actions (NAPAs). Hence, there is an urgent need that girls and women’s health, especially SRHR, is prioritized in countries’ NAPAs as well as other climate change policies and strategies.

This event provided a space for the presenters from Bangladesh, Ethiopia as well as the participants to continue the discussion on how to operationalize the “right to health” in the Paris Agreement for women and girls, especially in terms of SRHR.

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ARROW was part of Gender Day at COP22 during which we further elucidated the intersections between climate change and SRHR.

Click here to watch