#HRC41 – ARROW’s Statement on Women’s Rights and Climate Change

June 29, 2019 HM

NGO Oral Statement for Panel Discussion on Women’s Rights and Climate Change (HRC res. 38/4)


Speaker name: Hwei Mian Lim

Thank you Mr. President,

I make this statement on behalf of 67 NGOs.[1],[2]

In the developing and least developed countries, and small island states women[3] are disproportionately affected by climate change. The impact of climate change on women’s health, including their sexual and reproductive health and rights, has been neglected.[4] This act will impede the progress on Member States’ human rights obligations and their progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, 3 and 5 especially.

Women’s right to health, including their sexual and reproductive health and rights, as well as rights to adequate food, water, and sanitation, which are underlying determinants of health, needs to be addressed in the context of climate change, disaster, and sustainable development;[5] all these are inter-linked. Only with good health will women be able to participate and be agents of change in climate action.

We urge the above-mentioned States to incorporate provision of health care services, including sexual and reproductive health services and information, into their climate change related policies, budget, and programme as well as National Adaptation Plan. These health services and information must be solely provided to address the unmet need through rights-based approach, and not be utilised for population control agenda.

States must strengthen the capacity of women and ensure their equal and meaningful participation in the design, implementation, financing, and monitoring of the health services and information provision in climate change context.

Lastly, we call on developed countries and international climate financing mechanisms to prioritise funding climate change projects with components of gender-responsive social co-benefits such as sexual and reproductive health services and information that will contribute to women’s resilience.

Thank you.


[1] This statement is co-sponsored by NGOs with ECOSOC status comprising: (1) Beyond Beijing Committee, Nepal; (2) Rutgers, the Netherlands; (3) SERAC-Bangladesh, Bangladesh (4) Marie Stopes International, United Kingdom; (5) Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, Thailand; (6) Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas, USA; and (7) Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, USA.

[2] This statement is endorsed by other NGOs: (1) Advocacy, Research, Training and Services (ARTS) Foundation, Pakistan; (2) African Women’s Network for Community Management of Forests, Cameroon; (3) Aksi! for Gender, Social and Ecological Justice, Indonesia; (4) Alliance for Future Generations, Fiji; (5) AMIHAN National Federation of Peasant Women, the Philippines; (6) APEDDUB, Tunisia; (7) AROHI, Bangladesh; (8) Association for Promotion Sustainable Development, India; (9) Association Tournesol, Senegal; (10) Barnabas Charity Outreach, Nigeria; (11) Center for Environmental Concerns-Philippines, the Philippines; (12) Centre for Human Rights and Development, Mongolia; (13) Center for Participatory Research and Development, Bangladesh; (14) Center for Women’s Resources, the Philippines; (15) CERPAC, Republic of Congo and the Congo Basin Countries; (16) Citizen News Service, India; (17) Community Initiatives for Development in Pakistan, Pakistan; (18) Community Resource Centre Foundation, Thailand; (19) Cooperation for Peace and Development, Afghanistan; (20) Ecoforum of Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan; (21) EMPOWER INDIA, India; (22) Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal, Nepal; (23) Fusialofa, Tuvalu; (24) GenderCC SA, South Africa; (25) Gerak Peduli Disabilitas dan Lepra Indonesia, Indonesia; (26) Haus of Khameleon, Fiji; (27) Health Care Without Harm Southeast Asia, the Philippines; (28) Human Rights Focus Pakistan, Pakistan; (29) Huvadhoo Aid, Maldives; (30) International Youth Alliance for Family Planning, Fiji; (31) JAGO NARI (Fighting for Women Empowerment), Bangladesh; (32) Khpal Kore Organization, Pakistan; (33) Light House, Bangladesh; (34) Local Environment Development and Agricultural Research Society, Bangladesh; (35) National Campaign for Sustainable Development-Nepal, Nepal; (36) National Fisheries Solidarity Movement, Sri Lanka; (37) National Indigenous Women’s Federation, Nepal; (38) North-East Affected Area Development Society, India; (39) Participatory Research Action Network, Bangladesh; (40) Rainbow Pride Foundation, Fiji; (41) Regional Centre for International Development Corporation, Uganda; (42) Rural Area Development Programme, Nepal; (43) Rural Gender and Development Association, Uganda; (44) Savisthri National Women’s Movement, Sri Lanka; (45) Sfbsp-Burundi, Burundi; (46) Shelter participatory organisation, Pakistan; (47) Sukaar Welfare Organization Pakistan, Pakistan; (48) Sustainable Development Foundation, Thailand; (49) Terre Des Jeunes Burundo, Burundi; (50) The Asia Indigenous Women’s Network, the Philippines; (51) The Centre for Sustainable Community Development, Vietnam; (52) The Women and Media Collective, Sri Lanka; (53) Women Empowerment Against Poverty of Nepal, Nepal; (54) Women’s March Global, New York, USA and Geneva, Switzerland; (55) Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management, USA; (56) Women’s Rehabilitation Center, Nepal; (57) Women Working Group, Indonesia; (58) YouAct – European Youth Network on Sexual and Reproductive Rights, United Kingdom; and (59) Youth Advocacy Network, Pakistan

[3] The term “women” used here includes women and girls from “indigenous, racial, ethnic and sexual minority groups, women and girls with disabilities, adolescents, older women, single women, female-headed households, widows, women and girls living in poverty in both rural and urban settings, women in prostitution, and internally displaces, stateless, refugee, asylum seeking and migrant women” (Source: CEDAW, General Recommendation No.37).

[4] Hwei Mian, Lim. (2017). Women’s Health and Climate Change. Retrieved from https://arrow.org.my/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/1RB-WHCC_Corrected_2019-1.pdf

[5] Hwei Mian Lim. (2018). Raising the Bar on Asian Women’s SRHR in the Age of Climate Change. Retrieved from https://arrow.org.my/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/AB_HPLF_Final.pdf

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