15 DECEMBER 2021

“Greater vulnerability of women to climate change is the result of social structures and norms that put women at a disadvantage, not natural predispositions,” said Marina Andrijevic, Ph.D.,  from the International Institute for System Analysis in her introductory speech at the forum “What gender is climate change?”, held on December 14, organized by the Climate Forum.

“Women, more than men, suffer in certain weather disasters, either fatal or with injuries, or suffer from some longer-term consequences, such as domestic violence,” explained  Andrijevic, Ph.D.

Tanja Popovicki, program manager at the RES Foundation, Zorica Skakun, gender equality advisor on humanitarian programs, and Visnja Bacanovic from Gender Knowledge Hub also took part in the event. The panel moderator was Nemanja Milovic, founder and editor of the klima101.rs portal.

Zorica Skakun emphasized that gender equality requires the transformation of a system that generates inequalities. “I would like the attention to be focused not only on women as victims but to observe a whole hierarchical system that generates inequality and violence, where both women and men participate together.”, said Skakun.

Višnja Baćanović also agrees with the message about the necessity of deeper change. “For solutions to be truly gender-sensitive, we need to go deeper and transform the various things that make the system what it is,” she said.

The fact that women make up only one-third of licensed energy managers in Serbia is just one in a series that reflects their unequal representation in the energy sector compared to men, said Tanja Popovicki from the RES Foundation.

“Over 75% of women sit in public buildings in Serbia in the field of health, social protection, and education. They should have a say when planning measures to improve efficiency, when planning thermal comfort and when discussing the energy services that are offered, “said Popovicki.

The Women’s Platform for the Development of Serbia has existed for 20 years, and last year it made a document on the importance of eco-feminism and climate justice in Serbia, Zorica Skakun revealed. However, in addition to women, men are also important actors in achieving gender equality.

“It’s not a job that men do for women, nor is it something that has nothing to do with men. “It is a joint work that we have to do,” she concluded.

“If we make solutions in the communities that will meet the needs of women, they will be good for society as a whole, as well as for nature,” said Visnja Bacanovic from the Gender Knowledge Hub. Marina Andrijevic, Ph.D., agrees with that. “There are indications from macroeconomic studies that countries with a higher share of women in parliament are adopting stricter climate policies,” she said.

Tanja Popovicki especially pointed out the problem of internal air pollution due to heating and cooking on old and inefficient wood stoves. “Research shows that women spend much more time at home, and these differences are especially large in rural areas, which would mean that they are much more exposed to the negative effects that result from this inefficient combustion.”

Women have the competence to participate in public policy-making in the climate change sector, it is necessary to encourage them to get more involved, the participants agreed. As a final result of the process of achieving gender equality, a change in consciousness, paradigm, and the system itself as a generator of inequality is expected not only among women but also in all marginalized groups.

For watching the whole event, visit the Facebook page Green Fest – Belgrade and the YouTube channel Klima101.

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The forum was conducted within the program ECO- SYSTEM: Supporting environmental reforms in Serbia conducted by Young Researchers of Serbia, with the support of Sweden.

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