Despite its status and development within the United Nations international system, climate change policy-making has failed to adopt a gender-sensitive strategy. This failure not only generates concern in terms of respect for gender equity at the international level, it also leads to shortcomings in the efficiency and effectiveness of climate related measures and instruments. Without a gender-sensitive method of analysis, it is impossible to determine the full set of causes and potential effects of climate change. Furthermore, studies have shown that women and men experience climate change differently in terms of their adaptability, responsibility, vulnerability and aptitude for mitigation. However, women are substantially underrepresented in the heads of delegations at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP). For example, in 2006, the percentage of female heads of delegations was almost 16; in 2007 it was 12 percent. In order to ensure gender mainstreaming in the post-2012 discussions, it is important to draw upon the expertise of women and gender experts. Therefore, governments should aim to ensure their involvement when they prepare their contributions for the international process, and ensure consistent and continuous participation of women at international meetings. This includes close collaboration in the periods between COPs, in order to ensure longer-term preparation, attendance of UNFCCC workshops and the meetings of the Subsidiary Bodies, preparation of submissions, and exchange with other groups - such as non-governmental organisations, Indigenous Peoples, Trade Unions, and Research Organisations.
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