Description of the project:

In order for climate change policy to reflect the needs and perspectives of all people, we must ensure gender equality in decision-making at all levels. The Women Delegates Fund (WDF) aims to do just that, by tackling the underrepresentation of women on national delegations, boards and bodies of the UN climate negotiations, via travel support, capacity building and advocacy. In 2017, the WDF was able to expand its reach through a series of regional 4-day trainings for women leaders, deepening participants understanding of the UNFCCC process, and allowing time for skills-building exercises on negotiations skills, diplomacy and public speaking.

Climate impact:

In fulfilling women’s human rights to participation, research has highlighted that greater equality is central for effective environmental policymaking. In 2012, research by Christina Ergas and Richard York indicated that countries in which women are closer to men in status, rights, and opportunities have lower per capita emissions of CO2 when other factors are controlled for. In addition, taking gender into account has been shown to enhance the effectiveness of policies across both developed and developing countries.

Gender impact:

Since 2009, the WDF has supported 233 trips for 60 women across 44 countries to attend 26 sessions of the UNFCCC. Among these, over 40% of funded delegates were the only women on their national delegations. These efforts have led to a wider understanding of the importance of both genders’ contribution to climate solutions and have already helped to increase women’s participation at all levels in the climate process, with women’s participation on national delegations reaching 38% in 2015.

Scalability / replicability:

The WDF as a travel fund has the possibility to scale to cover a much wider range of LDC, SIDs and developing countries. The new model of in-depth regional trainings, including a full set of skills-building methodologies, can be replicated across all regions, allowing for deeper capacity building and networking. In 2017, WEDO organized four workshops: in the Caribbean region, Asian region, and twice in Pacific region.

WEDO – Women’s Environment & Development


Publication date
Type of publication
Case study
Cross-sectoral enabler
Capacity building and training