Achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment: towards a gender just energy transition

17 Mar 2022 New York, NY, USA 17 Mar - 17 Mar

Achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment: towards a gender just energy transition

  • 17 Mar - 17 Mar
  • New York, NY, USA

08:00 - 08:00 EDT

The event will convene a group of representatives of civil society organizations and experts working on the intersections between women’s rights, climate and environmental justice in order to:

  • Develop collective thinking on how the shift towards renewable energy can advance a gender-just transition to a low carbon world;

  • Identify how the CSW can be a key advocacy space and pressure point to push for a gender-just transition;

  • Facilitate cross-movement building breaking down silos between the feminist and the environmental social movements, and

  • Explore transformative narratives based on human rights to guide the transition towards a low-carbon world that empower women.

Parallel Event at the NGO CSW66 Forum Thursday 17. March 2022, 08:00 – 09:30 EST | 13:00-15:30 CET

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Tackling the environmental breakdown while addressing growing inequalities is one of the greatest challenges of our times. The magnitude of the climate challenge requires a massive mobilisation of resources and the transformation of economic and social structures at levels unprecedented in recent history. To address these challenges, just transition movements have been gaining traction in the last few years as a mean to raise social justice concerns and guarantee that the global transformation towards low carbon societies involves social advances for marginalised sectors of society. Access to a healthy environment has been declared a human right by the UN Human Rights Council, in recognition of the interconnected human rights crises of environmental degradation and climate change.

However, it is not always clear who should be leading this transition and who should benefit, or how would this just transition look like for those who have been historically marginalized. The energy transition is the backbone of the move towards the decarbonization of our societies, but the renewable energy sector continues to be a male-dominated industry, with little regard of gender and broader social concerns and largely based on corporate large-scale infrastructure projects that replicate harmful extractive practices commonly seen in the fossil fuel industry. Furthermore, most proponents of these policies do not reflect on the male dominance of the green solutions they promote, nor the deeply entrenched power imbalances between genders, including the effects of energy poverty and care burdens as they advocate for a fair decarbonization of our economies.

If we are to harness the opportunities that the just transition movement represents, we need to push for alternative development models that redefine the human-environment relationship and advance substantive equality. We need to invest in the diversification of the livelihoods of women impacted by climate change and articulate measures to tackle the root causes of poverty, inequality and the environmental breakdown. Women leaders in local communities are already spearheading innovative approaches to promote gender-just energy transitions to a low carbon world in several communities across the world. We need to bring those voices to key decision-making spaces to ensure we achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies, programmes, and public services.

This event will convene a group of civil society organizations and experts to explore how a feminist transition to renewable energy can advance an alternative development model to ensure a gender- just and rights-aligned transition to a low carbon world. This poses several questions: How could we make sure that movements pushing for climate action and a just transition incorporate a transformative agenda that considers women’s needs, experiences, and concerns? How can the human rights framework help guide and inform the transition to low carbon societies? How can the energy transition be used as an opportunity to advance a feminist and low carbon future?


  • Javiera Lecourt, Executive Director, CEUS Chile

  • Teresa Anderson, Climate policy coordinator, ActionAid

  • Kavita Naidu, Women and Gender Constituency

  • Wanun Permpibul, Executive Director, Climate Watch Thailand

  • Rosa Pavanelli, General Secretary, Public Services International

  • Juliette Wyss, Climate Change Fellow & UNOG Focal Point, Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

  • Moderation: Liliana Avila, Senior Attorney, AIDA