RFSD 2024: Peer learning table on SDG 1

How governments should work with social protection for effective prevention and response to rising poverty in the face of the climate crisis?

Dear distinguished delegates,

My name is Giorgi Tchanturidze I am here today to speak on behalf of Regional Civil Society Engagement Mechanism for the UNECE region (ECE-RCEM).

I come from Georgian Trade Unions Confederation. We have 15.3% unemployment rate in Georgia, and it is predominantly high among youth. 15.6% live under the absolute poverty line. There is high income inequality. And we have heard from my colleague, the gendered implications of poverty.

In the rise of climate change, and its effects on rising poverty, and social protection we recommend the following:

For green jobs and decent wages:
Invest in climate-friendly jobs. Advocate for statutory minimum living wages for all, including informal workers, migrant workers, care workers and other vulnerable groups of workers. Ensure equal pay for work of equal value.

In term of Just Transition
We need to foster strong, inclusive social dialogues which involve civil society, Trade Unions, and people from marginalised groups. Support UN Global Accelerator on Social and Just Transition and Ratify ILO C102 and R202 for global labour standards. Write national strategies for just transition and implement Universal Social Protection.

Energy and climate crisis
Provide government-driven gender-mainstreamed subsidies to combat energy-induced poverty. Ensuring decent work of ALL workers. Ensure just transition and occupational safety and health policies adhere to environmental and human rights standards. Establish disaster response funds in social security systems.

Taxation for social justice
Back UN-led governance on taxation, emphasising tax justice and promote progressive taxation to address global income disparities.

With the Green Transition, it is essential to invest in education for basic competencies and in life-long learning, reskilling and upskilling for adults.

Thank you.

Dear distinguished delegates,

My name is Hanna Gunnarsson, from Women Engage for a Common Future, speaking on behalf of the Regional Civil Society Engagement Mechanism for the UNECE region (ECE-RCEM).

As we speak, the Commission of the Status of Women is also addressing gender dimensions of poverty. So it’s a very dig issue, that I will try and consolidate to a few point for our region

Yesterday civil society raised the issues of the escalating number of migrant workers due to climate change, which leads to precariousness and marginalisation. Environmental degradation is leading to loss of jobs. Our region is ageing and the life-long effects of unequal access to opportunities and the burden of unpaid care work are leaving older women particularly exposed to energy and pension poverty.

Some countries in this region lack legislation on discrimination, which exacerbates poverty. High poverty rates among unsupported persons with disabilities and marginalised groups, including LGBTQI individuals,, and internally displaced people, further underscore the urgent need for intervention.

Systematic discrimination against many Roma communities pushes them out into marginal and polluted lands and neighbourhoods, and deprives them of access to basic environmental services and public utilities. This has severe repercussions for their health and welfare

Our recommendations

  • Tackle the inequitable distribution of unpaid care work, a root cause of gender inequality and the feminization of poverty. Adopt policies that recognize, redistribute, and support this essential and valuable work.
  • Provide childcare benefits, including for men, and initiating normative change initiatives aimed at altering traditional gendered care work norms.
  • gender dimensions doesnt merely mean women. And if we speak about women, it’s important that women is not one homogenic group. We therefore must advocate for legislative and normative changes that includes men, as well as gender diverse people. This is crucial in dismantling traditional gender roles and promoting a more equitable distribution of caregiving responsibilities.
  • Initiatives to support families, must support families in all their diversity, including non-heteronormative families.
  • Societies must become more resilient - it is imperative to address gender-based gaps in social protection, including pension disparities and unemployment benefits.
  • Adopt a definition of energy poverty that incorporates intersectional gender dimensions. Establish binding targets within energy policies, directives, and regulations to systematically reduce energy poverty.
  • Create an enabling environment for women and gender-diverse individuals in climate-friendly decent jobs. Encouraging women into STEM education should be coupled with soft skills training.
  • Enforce equal pay for work of equal value. This is a crucial step toward dismantling economic injustices and promoting gender equality.
  • Enact age, disability, and gender-inclusive policies, including the implementation of basic income. These policies should align with human rights obligations and cater to the specific rights and needs of those furthest left behind.
  • Just transition efforts should include communities built up around the sectors that needs to be transformed - such as mining communities.
  • Uphold international commitments, such as the Buenos Aires Commitment from the 15th session of the Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean (November 2022) and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, General Recommendation No. 34 (2016) on the rights of rural women.
  • Implement initiatives aimed at shattering the glass ceiling, ensuring equal opportunities for women, in all their diversity, in leadership roles and decision-making positions.
  • Actively combat discrimination by repealing laws that stigmatize migrants and individuals from marginalized communities, including Roma and Travellers.

Strengthen gender mainstreaming in climate financing and support women’s organizations leading local adaptation and mitigation efforts; and strengthen consideration of debt sustainability in climate finance, including through the review of debt sustainability frameworks to incorporate climate vulnerabilities, risks and impacts, and gender and human rights assessments