The 66th session of the Commission on the Status of Women took place from 14 to 25 March 2022. Due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, CSW66 took place in a hybrid format. All side events and parallel events were fully virtual.
Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world were invited to contribute to the session.
Priority theme: Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes;
Review theme: Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work (agreed conclusions of the sixty-first session);
References pertaining to Indigenous Women within the Report of the Secretary-General on Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes. Commission on the Status of Women (E/CN.6/2022/3)
References pertaining to Indigenous Women in the Interactive expert panel on building resilient futures: bridging the gap between the physical science and social science communities to advance gender equality in the context of climate change, environment and disaster risk reduction. (E/CN.6/2022/14)
Reference to indigenous women in Agreed Conclusions of the CSW66:
- The Commission further recalls that Member States should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, loc al communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations, and the right to development, as well as gender equality, the empowerment of women and intergenerational equity. The Commission encourages Member States to increase the full, meaningful and equal participation of women in climate action and to ensure gender-responsive implementation and means of implementation, which are vital for raising ambition and achieving climate goals.
- The Commission further recalls the Declaration on the Right to Development, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.
- The Commission expresses concern that climate change, the pollution of air, land and water, biodiversity loss and decline in ecosystem functions and se rvices threaten the full enjoyment of human rights of all women and girls and have acute impacts on women and girls, especially on rural, indigenous and migrant women and girls.
- The Commission reaffirms that climate change is among the greatest challenges of our time and affects all regions. It expresses profound alarm that greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise globally. It recognizes that countries are already experiencing increasing impacts, including biodiversity loss, extreme weather events, land degradation, desertification and deforestation, sand and dust storms, persistent drought, sea level rise, coastal erosion, ocean acidification and the retreat of mountain glaciers, causing severe disruptions to societies, economies, employment, agricultural, industrial and commercial systems, global trade, supply chains and travel, with devastating impact on sustainable development, including on poverty eradication and livelihoods, threatening food security and nutrition and water accessibility. It remains deeply concerned that all women and girls, particularly in developing countries and small island developing States, are disproportionately affected by the adverse impacts of climate change, environmental degradation and disasters and are disproportionately exposed to risk and increased loss of livelihoods during and in the aftermath of disasters. It further acknowledges the important role of women and girls as agents of change, along with indigenous peoples and local communities, in safeguarding the environment.
- The Commission reiterates the importance of mainstreaming a gender perspective into disaster risk management, taking into account the perspectives of all women and girls, including those in vulnerable situations and women and girls with disabilities. It recognizes the need for the inclusive participation and contribution of all women and girls, older women, widows, indigenous women and girls, local communities, youth, volunteers, migrants, academia, scientific and research entities and networks, business, professional associations, private sector financing institutions and the media, in all forums and processes related to disaster risk reduction, in accordance with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
- The Commission recognizes the need to take a whole-of-government approach to ensure that climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes are gender-responsive, including through the coordination and capacitybuilding of parliamentarians, national gender equality mechanisms, mayors, local elected officials, and municipalities and the institutions responsible for measures to address climate change, environment and disaster risk reduction. It emphasizes the importance of the work of the scientific community in support of strengthening the global response to climate change, environmental degradation and disasters and respecting and protecting traditional and ancestral knowledge, including of indigenous peoples.
- The Commission welcomes the major contributions of civil society organizations, especially women’s, young women’s, girls’, youth-led, grass-roots and community-based organizations, rural, indigenous and feminist groups, women human rights defenders, women journalists and media professionals and trade unions in promoting and protecting the human rights of all women and girls, placing th eir interests, needs and visions on local, national, regional and international agendas and in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of measures to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, including in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes. It expresses concern that such civil society organizations face many challenges and barriers to full, equal and meaningful participation and leadership, including diminishing funding, as well as violence, harassment, reprisals directed at, and threats to the physical security of, their members.
- The Commission recognizes the important roles and contributions of indigenous women, rural women, women smallholder farmers and women who use coastal marine resources as agents in eradicating poverty and enhancing sustainable agricultural and fisheries development and food security, and as guardians of biodiversity. It highlights the importance of ensuring that the perspectives of all indigenous and rural women and girls are taken into account and that they fully and equally participate in the design, implementation, follow-up to and evaluation of policies and activities that affect their livelihoods, well-being and resilience. It underlines the fact that meaningful progress in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls necessitates closing gender gaps, introducing gender-responsive policies, interventions and innovations, including in agriculture and fisheries, and ensuring women’s equal access to agricultural and fisheries technologies, technical assistance, productive resources, land tenure security and access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance and natural resources, as well as access to and participation in local, regional and international markets.
- The Commission also recognizes that indigenous women and girls, regardless of age, often face violence, discrimination, exclusion and higher rates of poverty, and limited access to health-care services, information and communications technology, infrastructure, financial services and education, and employment for women, while also recognizing their cultural, social, economic and political contributions to climate change mitigation and adaptation, disaster preparedness, response and management, and environmental conservation and management.
Strengthen normative, legal and regulatory frameworks
(c) Respect and fulfil existing commitments and obligations under the Rio conventions, the Paris Agreement, the Glasgow Climate Pact and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 related to climate change, biodiversity, desertification, environment and disaster risk reduction in a holistic and integrated manner, taking into account their gender action plans and calling for the creation of such plans where there are none, and highlighting the importance of integrating a gender perspective in, and ensuring the participation of indigenous women when elaborating, nationally determined contributions, national adaptation plans, national biodiversity strategies and action plans, land degradation neutrality targets and national and local strategies for disaster risk reduction, while also noting the importance of the ongoing discussions regarding the post-2020 global biodiversity framework to be adopted at the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity;
Expand gender-responsive finance
(aa) Increase public and private financing to women’s civil society organizations, including young women’s, girls’ and youth-led organizations, feminist groups and women’s cooperatives and enterprises for climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction initiatives, including those that apply local and indigenous knowledge and solutions, and strengthen monitoring and accountability at the national, regional and international levels, as appropriate;
(dd) Promote and protect the rights of all indigenous women and girls by addressing the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and barriers they face, including violence and higher rates of poverty, ensuring access to quality and inclusive education and employment, health care, public services, economic resources, including land and natural resources, and promoting their full and effective participation in the economy and in decision-making processes at all levels and in all areas, taking into account the principle of free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples and their ancestral knowledge and practices, and recognizing their cultural, social, economic and political contributions to climate change mitigation and adaptation, environmental action and disaster resilience;
(qq) Support the important role of civil society actors in promoting and protecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all women; take steps to protect such actors, including women human rights defenders, particularly those working on issues related to the environment, land and natural resources, and the rights of indigenous peoples; integrate a gender perspective into the creation of a safe and enabling environment for the defence of human rights and to prevent discrimination, violations and abuses against them, such as threats, harassment, violence and reprisals; and combat impunity by taking steps to ensure that violations or abuses are promptly and impartially investigated and that those responsible are held accountable;