CoP 25’s enhanced Gender Action Plan celebrated with caution over lack of monitoring

By Tunicia Phillips

An overlooked victory at the widely criticized CoP25 climate conference in Madrid, Spain earlier this month; was a resolution to enhance the Gender Action Plan (GAP) over the next five years.

While countries failed to reach an agreement on important decisions that will ultimately affect millions of climate-vulnerable people, they agreed – at least on paper, to enhance plans to improve gender inclusivity in climate change-related activities. At 16:45 on December 12, the CoP presidency released what is called the ‘draft text’ for item 13, gender and climate change, which among other things,

“Recognised with concern that climate change impacts on women and men can often differ owing to historical and current gender inequalities and multidimensional factors and can be more pronounced in developing countries and for local communities and indigenous peoples,” it said. It also acknowledged the slow progress made in addressing the lack of representation in other climate level decision making bodies and party delegations at CoP.

Africa was first to take credit for the role the continent’s negotiators played in ensuring that climate justice and solutions are gender-inclusive. At the Africa Group of Negotiator’s (AGN) final media briefing before COP25 wrapped up with little for climate-vulnerable communities to celebrate (and 48 hours later than expected), outgoing chair, Egyptian Ambassador Mohamed Nasr said that gender was always one of their top agenda items.

“It was Africa who has been working on a language [text] that not only requests countries to do action on gender but to provide the financial resources for this gender action plan to happen, to be formulated and to be implemented.

“So the African proposal is focused more on the implementation of the GAP, I think Africa is fed up with too many planning (sic) and requests to do things without providing the adequate support for you to implement.

“You can have a very nice plan but if it’s not implemented nothing happens on the ground.

“So we linked the GCF (Green Climate Fund) finance for gender with the existing finance for the enhanced five-year work plan on gender.

“It was Africa who pushed for that, gender is one of our top priorities as the African Union on the Heads of States as well as the negotiators, and hopefully this will lead to implementation so we can see results on the ground,” Nasr said.

Mozambique has been credited for adopting the first-ever Environment and Climate Change Strategy and Action plan on gender in early 2010. Owing to the southern African country’s frequent extreme weather events and other climate impacts,

The overall objective according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) was to:

“… ensure national climate change efforts in Mozambique mainstream gender into policies, programs, and strategies so that both men and women have equal access to and opportunities and potential benefits from climate change response, improving the quality of life for the whole of the population.”

Some of the proposed examples in the plan include training local women in the collection of meteorological data used to assess the weather and climate; train local women in the use of low carbon technologies to generate income; as well as empowering women to take up leadership roles in forestry management. Ideally, these policies and CoP resolutions should manifest at the grassroots level for it to be effective. Implementation remains a challenge according to civil society groups. An assessment of cyclones Idai and Kenneth in Mozambique earlier this year revealed that the country showed weakness in preparation for high-intensity cyclones as a result of climate change.

The World Meteorological Organization said that their team identified, “major weaknesses on preparedness, emergency coordination, and response, including the lack of a back-up communication system for warning and emergency operations and an evacuation plan for cities, particularly in low-lying areas.” 

Little information is available on how the gender policy impacted addressing the aftermath of the disasters. After including gender in their climate planning nearly a decade ago – reality on the ground shows that marrying CoP texts and policy with tangible impact in climate-vulnerable places are proving to be difficult.

Dr. Michael Charles at the Red Cross, however, made these observations about women in Africa and climate change-related disasters.

“I am always inspired by the women I meet responding in disasters, most recently in Cyclone Idai.

“Women like, Sonia, a volunteer who was working long hours to support women in a shelter, displaced by Cyclone Idai or Flora, who was affected herself by flooding but was dedicated to helping her neighbors rebuild their homes and their lives.

Dr. Charles wrote that climate change is undoubtedly a women’s business.

“They have a vested interest in avoiding and mitigating the impacts of climate change. It is time that humanitarian actors and policy and decision-makers mainstream gender in policy and practice.

“It is not a “nice to do”; it is crucial to making real and sustainable differences in the lives of affected people,” he said in an article published on Relief Web.

Margaret Arnold, a Senior Social Development Specialist with the World Bank spoke to a group of reporters on the sidelines of CoP25 and echoed the same sentiment. Her experience in disasters showed that these events are a good opportunity to change long term behaviors.

“I noticed that after every natural disaster that it was all the women who got organised, the women who knew who needed what and worked effectively and if you kept empowering that and nurturing that then it had broader developmental ripple effects long after the disaster and recovery process,” she said.

Reacting to the enhanced GAP resolution, women and gender groups commended the progress.

Gender CC International president and director for southern Africa Dorah Morama said that women are the majority of the world’s poor and due to inequality women are not able to participate meaningfully in climate change discussions, negotiations, and other activities.

Morama added that the GAP does not exist in a vacuum saying that it will fall flat if countries do not enhance or cut their greenhouse gas emissions.She also believes the GAP shortcomings lie with the lack of measurable targets to hold governments accountable.

“It doesn’t focus on implementation at the local level in terms of setting those measurable indicators and targets.

“However, with a strong civil society movement at the national level and on the ground there is an opportunity for civil society to demand a bottom-up approach where countries can set up indicators to measure impact on the ground,” she said.

The gender activist also blamed a male-dominated system for climate change and cautioned against appointing any women to delegations in the name of gender.

“By having women representation at the table doesn’t necessarily guarantee that the voices of grassroots women will be heard so for us it is very important to know who is at the table, who is sitting there because it could be someone who may not necessarily be a voice for the many women that are affected.

“For us, it’s important that we have gender experts at the table to make sure that these solutions devised at the UNFCCC processes are actually responding to the needs of these grassroots women,” she concluded.

    Don’t miss out on the latest local news, interviews and competitions.

    Don’t miss out on the latest local news, interviews and competitions.

    Receive the latest news

    Subscribe To Our Newsletter



    Copyright Notice


    1.1 The contents of this Website, including but not limited to its compilation and arrangement, is the exclusive property of Kaya 959, alternatively the suppliers of content to Kaya 959, and accordingly remain protected by South African and International Copyright and Trademark laws.

    1.2 Any person accessing this Website, may not, save for downloading one copy for their personal computers and solely for their private and non-commercial use :

    1.2.1 Copy, disseminate, distribute, advertise, publish, adapt, modify or in any way reproduce the contents of this website for commercial purposes, unless this notice and any disclaimer attached thereto is published in its entirety, or unless the permission of Kaya 959 is obtained in writing.

    Privacy Policy


    POPIA ActTo promote the protection of personal information processed by public and private bodies; to introduce certain conditions so as to establish minimum requirements for the processing of personal information; to provide for the establishment of an Information Regulator to exercise certain powers and to perform certain duties and functions in terms of this Act and the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000; to provide for the issuing of codes of conduct; to provide for the rights of persons regarding unsolicited electronic communications and automated decision making; to regulate the flow of personal information across the borders of the Republic; and to provide for matters connected therewith.


    • section 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, provides that everyone has the right to privacy;
    • the right to privacy includes a right to protection against the unlawful collection, retention, dissemination and use of personal information;
    • the State must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights;


    • consonant with the constitutional values of democracy and openness, the need for economic and social progress, within the framework of the information society, requires the removal of unnecessary impediments to the free flow of information, including personal information;


    • regulate, in harmony with international standards, the processing of personal information by public and private bodies in a manner that gives effect to the right to privacy subject to justifiable limitations that are aimed at protecting other rights and important interests,
    1. Definitions and Interpretation

    1.1.“Personal Information” means information relating to an identifiable, living, natural person and where it is applicable, identifiable, existing juristic person, including all information as defined in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013. 

    1.2  Parliament assented to POPIA on 19 November 2013. The commencement date of section 1Part A of Chapter 5section 112 and section 113 was 11 April 2014. The commencement date of the other sections was 1 July 2020 (with the exception of section 110 and 114(4). The President of South Africa has proclaimed the POPI commencement date to be 1 July 2020.

    1.3. “Processing” means the creation, generation, communication, storage, destruction of personal information as more fully defined in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013.  

    1.4. “You” or the “user” means any person who accesses and browses this website for any purpose. 

    1.4. “Website” means the website of the KAYA 959 at URL www.kaya959.co.za or such other URL as KAYA 959 may choose from time to time.   

    1. Status and Amendments

    2.1. KAYA 959 respects your privacy. This privacy policy statement sets out KAYA 959’s information gathering and dissemination practices in respect of the Website. 

    2.2. This Privacy Policy governs the processing of personal information provided to KAYA 959 through your use of the Website. 

    2.3. Please note that, due to legal and other developments, KAYA 959 may amend these terms and conditions from time to time.  

    1. Processing of Personal Information

    3.1. By providing your personal information to KAYA 959 you acknowledge that it has been collected directly from you and consent to its processing by KAYA 959. 

    3.2. Where you submit Personal Information (such as name, address, telephone number and email address) via the website (e.g. through completing any online form) the following principles are observed in the processing of that information: 

    3.2.1. KAYA 959 will only collect personal information for a purpose consistent with the purpose for which it is required. The specific purpose for which information is 
    collected will be apparent from the context in which it is requested. 

    3.2.2. KAYA 959 will only process personal information in a manner that is adequate, relevant and not excessive in the context of the purpose for which it is processed. 

    3.2.3. Personal information will only be processed for a purpose compatible with that for which it was collected, unless you have agreed to an alternative purpose in writing or KAYA 959 is permitted in terms of national legislation of general application dealing primarily with the protection of personal information. 

    3.2.4. KAYA 959 will keep records of all personal Information collected and the specific purpose for which it was collected for a period of 1 (one) year from the date on which it was last used. 

    3.2.5. KAYA 959 will not disclose any personal information relating to you to any third party unless your prior written agreement is obtained or KAYA 959 is required to do so by law. 

    3.2.6. If personal information is released with your consent KAYA 959 will retain a record of the information released, the third party to which it was released, the reason for the release and the date of release, for a period of 1 (one) year from the date on which it was last used. 

    3.2.7. KAYA 959 will destroy or delete any personal information that is no longer needed by KAYA 959 for the purpose it was initially collected, or subsequently processed. 

    3.3. Note that, as permitted by the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002, KAYA 959 may use personal information collected to compile profiles for statistical purposes. No information contained in the profiles or statistics will be able to be linked to any specific user.    

    1. Collection of anonymous data

    4.1. KAYA 959 may use standard technology to collect information about the use of this website. This technology is not able to identify individual users but simply allows KAYA 959 to collect statistics. 

    4.2. KAYA 959 may utilise temporary or session cookies to keep track of users’ browsing habits. A cookie is a small file that is placed on your hard drive in order to keep a record of your interaction with this website and facilitate user convenience. 

    4.2.1. Cookies by themselves will not be used to identify users personally but may be used to compile identified statistics relating to use of services offered or to provide KAYA 959 with feedback on the performance of this website. 

    4.2.2. The following classes of information may be collected in respect of users who have enabled cookies: The browser software used; IP address; Date and time of activities while visiting the website; URLs of internal pages visited; and referrers. 

    4.3. If you do not wish cookies to be employed to customize your interaction with this website it is possible to alter the manner in which your browser handles cookies. Please note that, if this is done, certain services on this website may not be available. 

    1. Security

    5.1. KAYA 959 takes reasonable measures to ensure the security and integrity of information submitted to or collected by this website, but cannot under any circumstances be held liable for any loss or other damage sustained by you as a result of unlawful access to or dissemination of any personal information by a third party. 

    1. Links to other websites

    6.1. KAYA 959 has no control over and accepts no responsibility for the privacy practices of any third party websites to which hyperlinks may have been provided and KAYA 959 strongly recommends that you review the privacy policy of any website you visit before using it further. 

    1. Queries

    7.1. If you have any queries about this privacy policy please contact us by emailing [email protected] 

    Competition Terms and Conditions

    • The competitions are open to all persons over the age of 18 years; except directors, partners, employees, agents, service providers, and consultants of Kaya 959, the sponsor and all its subsidiaries and its holding company, if any, as well as all spouses, life partners, parents, children, siblings, business partners and associates of such persons.

    • The outcome of the competition is subject to the decision of the judge/presenter, whose decision is final and no negotiation will be entered into thereafter. Neither Kaya 959, sponsors nor their agents will be held responsible or answerable to any dispute arising from the competition or prize awards.

    • Participants/listeners enter or take part in competitions at their own risk and Kaya 959 bears no responsibility for any loss, damage or harm suffered as a result of participation in any of Kaya 959 competition.

    • One listener is entitled to winning one prize in a period of 3 months. Kaya 959 reserves the right not to award a prize if the listener has won a prize prior during the 3 month window period. This also applies to listeners who provide family or friend’s contact details.

    • Kaya 959 reserves the right to redistribute all unclaimed prizes if not claimed after 3 months after being given away On Air or on the website.

    • Prizes are not transferable and may not be exchanged for cash.

    • Finalists will forfeit their participation in the competition if they fail to attend the draws.

    • The competition will run during the period advertised on Kaya 959; entries received outside of the competition period will not be considered for the competition draw.

    • Kaya 959 and their sponsors reserve the right to cancel, modify or amend the competition at any time if deemed necessary in their opinion, or if circumstances arise outside of their control.

    • By entering the competition, entrants agree to accept these rules and to be bound by them.