This week saw the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on the 25th November. 2020 has been a year where much developmental progress has halted, with people confined to their homes to protect them from contracting the virus. This has meant that all types of violence against women and girls, particularly violence, has intensified.
Violence against women and girls remains one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today’, with reported 1 in 3 women and girls experiencing physical or sexual violence in their lifetime (https://www.un.org/en/events/endviolenceday/).
How CO2balance projects help empower women and reduce violence towards women
Empowering women and girls is one of the most effective ways to fight climate change and close gender gaps to accelerate developmental progress. Fundamental to each and every one of our projects is the participation and empowerment of local communities, with particular focus on women and children, who disproportionately make up 70% of the world’s poor.
CO2balance develop projects in line with the award-winning Gold Standard certification body, who represent an internationally renowned benchmark for quality and transparency in certifying climate projects and SDG impacts. SDG 5: Gender Equality is one of the prominent goals we measure contributions towards across all of our projects.
Gender roles dictate that within households, women and girls disproportionately responsible for collection of natural resources such as firewood and water. Alongside time-poverty, women and children are also disproportionately exposed to gender-based violence. The responsibility of natural resource collections often means women and children can travel long distances to fetch water and/or firewood before sunrise on remote routes. This task exposes them to gender-based violence, which can range from verbal and psychological abuse to physical incidents.
Our projects are gender sensitive, designed and implemented with strong safeguards to ensure a representative and inclusive environment for women and girls in the framework of the project. These are done through 1) extensive briefings with our in-country partners, 2) gender-sensitive Local Stakeholder Consultation, 3) representative, balanced community roles and 4) the creation/strengthening of community groups.
In recognition of the transformative nature of empowering women as well as the need for gender-specific data to track progress towards meeting SDG 5 targets, the Gold Standard launched it’s Gender Equality Framework. In 2019, CO2balance worked closely with Gold Standard to certify the first ‘Gender Certified Carbon Credits’, through adhering to the Gender Responsive Framework in our Safe Water Project in Lango District, Uganda. These projects must meet the additional Gender Sensitive requirements to meet certification. The project activities go beyond traditional carbon project and focus on the sensitisation on gender issues, women empowerment and monitoring the outcomes of these activities. Impacts ranged from reducing time poverty, empowering individuals and communities and reducing exposure to gender-based violence, proactively closing gender gaps and accelerating progress towards many SDGs.
The project promotes shared domestic responsibilities, gender-parity and raising awareness of gender-based violence, all hoping to change stigma and promote behavioural changes.
This year’s theme is ‘Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect! – to call for a violence-free future. The UN’s official webpage for this international day informed this article, and can be referenced here: https://www.un.org/en/observances/ending-violence-against-women-day