Women’s rights and sustainable environment: The topics discussed at the UN event with Ukraine’s participation?

The increase of population, especially in cities, growing quantity of vehicles, industrial production and energy consumption lead to air, soil and water pollution, at the same time accumulation of waste and decreasing of green territories and park zones in the cities cause critical climate damage. And it’s worth mentioning that climate and environmental issues have significant gender aspects.

Women and girls find themselves in a more vulnerable position and their health is affected with declining water quality, poverty and social problems, as well as marginalization and violence. In addition, gender inequality prevents women from contributing to governance, environmental planning, and the formulation and implementation of sustainable development policies.

Those were the topics of discussion at the international online-event dedicated to climate changes and women’s rights defence «Women’s human rights and environment sustainability: challenges and opportunities».

The event was organized by the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations in New York, and the discussion was co-organized by diplomatic missions to the United Nations of the Republic of Maldives, the State of Qatar, the Republic of Botswana and the Republic of Honduras.

Emine Dzhaparova, the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine mentioned that the event initiated by Ukraine is one more proof that our state is ready for overcoming climate changes and their negative effect on women’s rights and freedoms.

“Ukraine totally admits the fact that climate changes affect gender and are a general challenge for all states. Neither Ukraine nor any other state have no right to stay aside and watch this situation”,Emine Dzhaparova said.

She stressed that realizing interdependence of state of environment and gender issues can strengthen the awareness of the fact that climate changes increase the risk of new conflicts together with deepening existing ones.

Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the UN Serhiy Kyslytsia, Government Commissioner for Gender Policy Kateryna Levchenko and Kyiv City Council Deputy Yevhenia Kuleba spoke to participants too.

«The topic is personally important for me. It resonates both in my mind and in my heart. In my mind – because since the Independence Day of Ukraine, I have been defending women’s rights and I am currently the Ukrainian government’s gender policy commissioner. In my heart – because my father was a well-known scientist and specialist in Ukraine in the field of energy. He has been working for many years to reduce its negative impact on the environment. So he gave me a deep conviction of the importance of environmental safety and the importance of thinking in such terms. I first heard from my father about the global problem of recycling waste and garbage, the greenhouse effect and renewable energy and much more», – Kateryna Levchenko, Government Commissioner for Gender Policy, shared her story.

According to her, appropriate ecological initiatives with full participation of women help to reach real women’s rights equality and expand their opportunities. And on the contrary such participation promotes reaching Global Goals for sustainable development and reducing the risk of disasters and climate changes.

Government Commissioner for Gender Policy also paid attention to the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 “Women. Peace. Security”, which contains important approaches to strengthening women’s participation in peacebuilding processes.

«When we talk about the environmental safety of the world and the countries, we can be based on it while developing policies and plans aimed to ensure both gender equality and ecological safety», – she added.

Ukrainian delegation also stressed that climate changes increase the risk of new and deepen the ecological consequences of existing conflicts.

And when it comes to Ukraine that has been fighting russian military aggression in Donbas and Crimea for seven years already and nevertheless continues the path of development and transformation, it is important to be solidar with global context of equal possibilities, gender defence and influence of climatic changes on this process.

You can watch the video of the event in English here:

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