No Girls Allowed! U.N. Excludes Women From Climate Decision-Making

Despite ongoing scientific research that claims humans are at least partly to blame for the accelerated climate change we’ve seen over the past few years, there still isn’t any consensus about either the cause or the proper way to deal with it.

Regardless of what politicians and diplomats might think about climate change, its consequences are a reality for those around the world already dealing with the effects of a fluctuating planet- and some more profoundly than others.

An Australian news source recently looked at research conducted by the United Nations, the Women’s Environment and Development Organization and the University of London. The research showed that natural disasters, drought, famine and poverty all have a profound effect on women. Because these situations are also all influenced by climate change, a warmer world may exacerbate global gender inequalities (Inhabitat).

This is an unfortunate conclusion, especially since women are suspiciously absent from the international group commissioned by the UN to investigate potential sources of revenue to support developing countries in their efforts to cope with the impacts of climate change and the shift to low-carbon development pathways.

According to, “U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced an important new climate change financing group last week, but out of the 19 people named, no women were included.”

Given the fact that the group will be tasked with collecting around $30 billion by 2012, and deciding how a large portion of that, and the $100 billion dollar goal for 2020, will be spent, it seems odd to exclude even one female representative, and reflects what many feel is a persistent bias in climate change decision-making roles.

It is hard to hope that this is merely an oversight, especially since last September the U.N. Secretary’s acknowledged that is was essential “to foster an environment where women are key decision makers on climate change, and play an equally central role in carrying out these decisions…We must do more to give greater say to women in addressing the climate challenge.”

Although the group is comprised of some of the brightest intellectual and political minds in the world, it’s preposterous to accept that no worthy female resprentatives could be found. Critics of this “U.N. men’s club” are hopeful that the secretary-general and the co-chairs of the advisory group “can correct this by expanding the membership of the group to include meaningful representation of female officials before the group’s first meeting in London at the end of the month.”

UPDATE! Take Action on Care2:
Population Action International is calling on the Secretary General to include women in critical climate change appointments. Read their article The U.N. Men’s Club and take action.

Related Reading:

Climate Change Affecting Women More than Men?

Why Some Skeptics Connect Climate Change With Intelligent Design

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Ryder W.
Past Member 6 years ago

all of the decision-making groups should be compromised of 50% women and 50% men. it's only fair, and it's the only way to get an unbiased outcome.

Melinda K.
Past Member 6 years ago

This could be a mens club thing. Whatever the reason women have unique perspectives and they need to be included

Michael MacDonald

women should be including in the debates just as much as men.
they do represent half of the population after all.
why shouldn't they be represented equally on such important issues.

Michael MacDonald

@Diane R.

well, it's not as far down as the earth's core obviously,
but I'm sure you're right and there are environmental consequences to drilling even when it's not offshore.

Diane Riley

have scientists ever studied the affects of so much oil being pumped out of the earths core? There has to some kind of an affect since oil wells do run dry and don't re-produce oil. Otherwise why would the oil companies need to find other areas in which to drill.

I'm sure there have been studies but they have been covered up.

Raka D.
Raka D.7 years ago

I got shocked to read the headline and went through this article, but certainly i believe that this headline for this article is too atrocious, or rather imposing and gimmicky, because this article nowhere suggests that "no girls are allowed" or the word "exclusion" is very strongly used and forcefully used. The coming together of top officials that led to the formation of this group have only men amongst them, and it is sadly true for millions of other organizations and expert committees formed throughout this world, which is definitely not acceptable, but a suspected conspiracy is nowhere visible in not including women in the referred group. This conspiracy against woman had begun long time back when men were still hunting.

Rose S.
Rose S7 years ago

Thanks for the information. My prayer is that in time the "elitist and well-educated men of today", would come to realize that there are a lot of capable, well-educated women today, that can compete and complement them in various roles, that would improve our society/world, both nationally and internationally.

Kristen R.
Kristen R7 years ago

Depressing...but hardly shocking.

Michael R.
Michael R.7 years ago

I agree this is certainly not the first problem the UN has has, but look, this idea of women being "excluded" is a bit rash. Sure there are not any women in the panel, but MAYBE they aren't necessarily the top 19 people for the job? There are plenty of women out there who are doing great things for the world's climate issues. First name that comes to mind is Sunita Narain who has advanced the way we think about developing climate policy. However there are apparently more men who are doing the same thing sort of thing.

Sure women can provide a "different point of view" on these topics, but by saying that is distinguishing one sex from the other and THAT is the definition of sexist (for better or for worse).

As many of you have said, it should be about the qualifications of the peope involved, NOT the gender.

carmen de torres
carmen de torres7 years ago

What I gather form life experience. it seems like women are the ones that really care about their children, present and future and of course they will want a good future for them. so of course womenr are worry about the climate and everything to do wih having a good place for future children to live in. but it seems like men only care aobut sex and money. It is about time that women take over in politics and practically everyhting else befopre it is really too late.