Tuga Alaskary from InsuResilience Global Partnership shares a bold new initiative to drive gender-smart approaches in insurance and risk finance for climate disasters, launching on Gender Day at COP26, 9 November.
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At a time when climate-related disasters are predicted to push an additional 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030, there is an increasing need for strengthened adaptation and resilience-building mechanisms.
Since its establishment in 2017, the InsuResilience Global Partnership (IGP) has mobilised a grand coalition of multi-stakeholder actors to promote the scale-up of pre-arranged, predictable financing for early action, relief and recovery. Over 100 members endorse the common vision to put forward an actionable and transformative agenda to strengthen the resilience of poor and vulnerable people from the impacts of disasters and protect their lives and livelihoods.
Yet, disasters impact different social groups and genders in different ways. There is overwhelming evidence that climate change impacts for women and men can often differ, with the prevailing view that this stems from pervasive historical and existing inequalities and multidimensional social factors rather than biological sex. Consequently, women and girls are disproportionately affected by disasters.
Therefore, IGP, through its highest governing body and strategic driver, the High-level Consultative Group (HLCG), saw a clear imperative to consider the gender-dimensions of Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance (CDRFI). In September 2020, the HLCG endorsed a Declaration on Gender, marking an important milestone and offering a firm signal of the commitment to consolidate and strengthen efforts of members of the IGP, to drive comprehensive gender-responsive approaches in CDRFI interventions.
Research commissioned by IGP has found that when gender dimensions are incorporated in the CDRFI sector, they often remain vague, uncoordinated, not prioritised, and lack the capacity, resources and monitoring mechanisms to ensure successful implementation. To overcome these challenges, the HLCG mandated the establishment of the Centre of Excellence on Gender-smart Solutions, which will be fully launched today in Glasgow at COP26. This Centre of Excellence aims to play a key role in identifying gender-equitable disaster risk management strategies, and guiding practitioners on innovative solutions to transform the CDRFI sector towards being more gender informed and leading the way on greater gender equality.
To date, no other platform exists that collects, packages, generates and coordinates information and knowledge on gender-related aspects of CDRFI. By integrating gender-sensitive, -responsive and -transformative approaches within the CDRFI framework, the Centre of Excellence on Gender-smart Solutions provides an online information repository and a unique knowledge-exchange platform.
Since its soft-launch a year ago, the Centre has spearheaded efforts to overcome gender gaps within the CDRFI sector. This includes a sponsorship programme, together with the Access to Insurance Initiative, Women´s World Banking and the Oxford University´s Saïd Business School. Through this scholarship programme five senior officials from insurance regulatory agencies in developing economies and women leaders from their respective institutions participated in the “Leadership and Diversity Programme for Regulators”.
The Centre has also organised a series of events, attracting diverse audiences and driving forward the dialogue on gender-smart CDRFI. Krishnan Narasimhan of UNCDF recently wrote that participating in one of these events “prompted a series of affirmative actions to successfully integrate a Gender Equality and Social Inclusion approach within [our] programme”.
The Centre of Excellence on Gender-smart Solutions has the potential to promote transformation of the CDRFI sector and beyond. To realise this potential, we need to consolidate our knowledge and collectively work toward an action-oriented and transformative agenda. This COP26, as we launch the Centre of Excellence on Gender-smart Solutions, we call for partners to join us in our quest to better understand gender gaps and to address them with definitive action.
Join us at COP26
The InsuResilience Centre of Excellence on Gender-smart Solutions will be launched at COP26 at the Shared Pavilion PV 67- Hall 4 on 9 November, 16:00 GMT. It will also be live streamed on Youtube.
Tuga Alaskary is an Advisor at the Secretariat of the InsuResilience Global Partnership (IGP) and Lead of the InsuResilience Centre of Excellence on Gender-smart Solutions. IGP is a global initiative, with over 100 members, striving to foster climate and disaster risk finance and insurance.