ISLAMABAD - Emphasising Pakistan’s climate change policy process, Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman on Wednesday said that there is need to prioritise women in climate change policies.

Speaking at the launch event of the National Climate Change Gender Action Plan (NCCGAP) by IUCN, she said, “It is our responsibility to empower women who, in the trenches of extreme vulnerability, also go through the trauma of climate change-induced displacement and migrations that we often see on the ground especially in the cities.”

Sherry Rehman implored that women should be placed at the centre of climate change policies and given opportunities to address their extreme vulnerability in this climate catastrophe that Pakistan is going through.

Emphasising the impact of climate change on women, the minister said, “Women and children are the most vulnerable communities in Pakistan, they are always on the ground zero of conflict, pandemics and disasters, and face the disproportionate effects of climate change, which Pakistan is now experiencing in an unprecedented fashion.”

She said, “The situation is complex, but it is very real. Women are the most affected when conflict strikes due to issues of accessibility and lack of gendered disaster preparedness but they are also the real agents of change when you need nature-based solutions.”

Sherry Rehman said they make change possible not just from their homes but also from their fields, from the fisheries, from our factories and from the boardrooms. “For a society to transition towards climate change adaptation and resilience and also take ownership, it is the women that will make this change a reality. Women have also traditionally been the care-givers of a hidden care economy, not just in the world, but also in Pakistan.”

She said, “I would like to congratulate IUCN for launching the much-awaited document. The Climate Change Gender Action Plan of Pakistan was prepared by the Ministry of Climate Change with the support of Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the IUCN”.