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Gender-responsive climate change approaches only become tangible and fully implementable with gender-sensitive funding and budgeting. Women often do not have access to financing and gender responsiveness therefore needs to be sustained along the whole spectrum of climate policy, climate programmes and climate projects.

At a recent workshop on gender-responsive climate policy, these two linked aspects were identified to move forward: the needs for gender mainstreaming and gender-responsive budgeting.  

Presenters from all over the world shared experiences. It became clear that approaches are most successful with gender responsiveness streamlined throughout the climate policy/programme/project process. It also has to be carefully included in all budgeting matters at sub-regional, regional, national or international level.

The two-day workshop, part of a series of gender-related events at the Climate Change Talks in May, focused on adaptation, capacity-building and training for delegates. On the first day, participants shared good practices, of which a summary can be found here.

On the second day, participants broke up into working groups to discuss gender-responsiveness in greater detail. A summary of their output is available here.

Fitting with these discussions, a new report by the Acumen not-for-profit international investment fund clearly shows how gender integration can boost entrepreneurial solutions to poverty and sustainable development. It sheds light on how this may be approached with tangible outcomes, with several case studies.

Making a Difference in Households

For example, BURN, founded in 2010, manufactures, markets, and sells energy-efficient cookstoves with significant potential to transform the lives of women. The unit can reduce women’s exposure to smoke and decrease the amount of time she spends cooking. The cookstove also reduces fuel expenditures for the entire household, making it more affordable.

BURN does more than just produce and market a great product for women. It catalyzes the power of that product by integrating gender into its business model at multiple levels, most notably in its sales and manufacturing operations.

By doing so, BURN increases its product’s reach, enhances customer satisfaction and ensures the cookstove achieves impact for consumers—all the while, improving its business outcomes. The report can be viewed here

Acumen also is the first private sector accredited entity to formalize its relationship with the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Its investment sectors have a connection to addressing the impacts and challenges of climate change, including agriculture, energy and health.

Photo credit: Acumen Fund (Facebook)

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