Gender Dimensions of Weather and Climate Services

The WMO Conference on the Gender Dimensions of Weather and Climate Services, held in Geneva from 5 to 7 November, formulated desired steps to provide equal access to weather and climate services to women and men in order to help them make better decisions in the areas of food security, disaster risk reduction, water resources management and public health.

As per its slogan, “Universal Access - Empowering Women,” the Conference showcased good practices and concrete actions to empower women to produce and use weather and climate services. A special session on Women and Careers in Weather, Water and Climate examined how to attract more female scientists to specialize in meteorology, hydrology and climatology.

Julie Ukeje from the Nigeria Meteorological Agency speaking at the Agriculture/Food Security and focused her discussion on improving access and effective dissemination of information

The participants included experts from National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs); United Nations (UN) organizations, academic institutions and civil society representatives; national authorities and country-level practitioners; national and international women’s rights advocates; and the private sector. They called upon all partners at international, regional, national and community levels to take the necessary steps to:

  • Improve understanding of gender-specific impacts of weather and climate and of the gender dimensions of weather and climate services on disaster risk reduction, water resource management, public health, and agriculture and food security through increased research, outreach and training; including through systematic collection and use of gender and age disaggregated data and by carrying out gender analyses and developing and using gender-sensitive indicators to monitor access to and use of services;
  • Pursue strategies and structures to increase the involvement of women and men in the development and communication of gender-sensitive weather and climate services, including promotion of women’s knowledge and skills;
  • Produce and communicate gender-sensitive weather and climate services, ensuring the active involvement of service providers and relevant authorities – as well as female and male stakeholders – at a scale, in a format and language that is comprehensible and effective for female and male users, particularly in early warning systems;
  • Strengthen the capacity of women and men in climate-sensitive sectors as service providers, relevant authorities and end-users to contribute to the effective production, access and use of weather and climate services through technical and communications education, training and professional development, including gender sensitization training;
  • Increase investment in gender-based weather and climate services to reduce gender gaps within these areas;
  • Expand women’s participation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), particularly in meteorology and hydrology, through the development and implementation of gender equality strategies in educational institutions as well as the recruitment, retention and promotion of women in NMHSs, the WMO, and other partners and stakeholders; and
  • Increase collaboration and integration of programmes and initiatives between the WMO, key UN organizations, regional, national (with a key role for NMHSs) and local actors to enable the systematic integration of gender-sensitive weather and climate information into the activities, networks, programmes and plans of stakeholders, local and national governments and regional commissions as well as within international organizations and conferences.

Governments and UN organizations that partnered in the organization of the Conference will feed the outcomes into important international platforms and processes, including the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), the post-2015 disaster risk reduction framework, the post-2015 development agenda, the Beijing+20 platform on gender equality, and future climate action.

The Conference proceedings are available online.

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