Zonta Endorses Strong, Gender Equality Focused, Climate Change Policies

Envisioning a sustainable and gender-equal future

Climate change is a major global crisis. It has a negative impact on people and the environment around the world. All of us and next generations will be affected; however, not all of us will be affected in the same way.

The consequences of climate change are severe, especially for poor and vulnerable groups in developing countries. From natural disasters to food security, health, access to clean water and migration, in several parts of the world, our changing climate already has severe implications for women and girls. As families strive to cope with these changes, they may resort to negative coping mechanisms, forcing girls to leave school or marry early. Risk for gender-based violence also increases. Understanding climate change as a human rights issue is central to the fight against climate change, but also to create a sustainable, gender-equal future.

Climate change is an issue of human rights

…United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 13 (SDG13) “Climate Action” emphasizes the need for urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. While Zonta International is not an environmental or disaster response organization, climate change disproportionately affects women and girls and action is needed from a gender equality perspective. Zonta International, as an organization pledged to empower women and girls at the global and local levels and promote justice and universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, therefore, calls for action in favor of a fair and human rights-based approach to solve the crisis of climate change in the post-pandemic world and achieve greener, cleaner and equal societies.


Climate is changing and we need to change too!

Read the Full Zonta International Statement Climate Policy  (PDF with 9 pages of background and details) 

Zonta International:

  • Asks governments that have not yet signed the Paris Agreement to sign the Paris Agreement.
  • Asks governments who signed the Paris Agreement to actively take into account human rights, gender equality and empowerment of women and girls in defining and implementing their national climate action plans, including gender-responsive measures that are more effective and respectful of human rights.
  • Calls for governments and policymakers to uphold the principles of climate justice agreed to in the Paris Agreement and ensure that the most marginalized groups do not bear the brunt of the climate crisis.

Zonta International calls on its membership to:

  • Increase their own awareness of climate change and on its gender-related consequences and raise awareness locally.
  • Include gendered climate change advocacy actions in their advocacy plans.
  • Support the inclusion of women at the national and local tables of decision-makers on environmental sustainability.
  • Promote girls’ education and the inclusion of climate literacy in schools, as well as to promote girls’ science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies to increase gendered scientific and technical contributions to climate change mitigation.
  • Advocate for national policies that take into account women’s economic opportunities and ensures their full and equal participation in the economy.
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