Gender Responsive Projects for Climate and Clean Air: Case studies from agriculture and waste

*Note clocks change in US and Canada on 12 March

On 13 March 2023, the CCAC welcomed Silvia Petrova, Urban and Ocean Plastics Specialist at the U.S. Agency for International Development, Dorcas Robinson, Senior Manager for Climate Justice at Oxfam America, Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim the Director General of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) and Inkar Kadyrzhanova senior officer at the FAO to present and discuss designing gender-responsive projects and programmes. 


Dana Crawhall-Duk, CCAC Secretariat

  • The CCAC launched its gender strategy in at COP27. Gender is significant across SLCP sectors, as in indoor air pollution is responsible for 3.2 million deaths annual, primarily among women and children who spend more time in domestic settings.  Additionally, women are more likely to experience food insecurity, with short-lived climate pollutants causing an estimated 110 million tons of crop losses annually.
  • Women are also key to implementing solutions, by advancing gender mainstreaming in climate and clean air projects we can bridge gender gaps, and create sustainable and inclusive solutions. 
  • This year the CCAC will be hold three rounds of Calls for Proposals, on national planning, country mitigation requests, and transformative action. Proposals will be requested to include a gender mainstreaming component. More information will be available on the CCAC website in early spring. 

Ella Jollands, CCAC Secretariat

  • The CCAC is mainstreaming gender considerations into projects, and seeking for most CCAC funded projects to meet a Score 1 on the OECD DAC Gender Policy Marker. This indicates that despite not being a gender specific project, the project still considers any relevant gender considerations.
  • To achieve this criteria 5 considerations must be met, firstly, a preliminary gender analysis must be conducted, then the findings from the gender analysis must influence the project design, next the project must measure results with at least one gender indicator, alongside this other applicable indicators must be disaggregated by sex, and finally there must be a commitment to monitor and report on gender equality results.
  • The CCAC also provided guidance as to what information may inform a preliminary gender analysis. This may include the identification of priorities for women in the sector and the likely impact of the project, the unique climate and air pollution risks for women in the targeted region/sector, the proposed benefits to men and women, and if applicable, the limitations for accessing trainings for men and women.

Silvia Petrova, USAID

  • Silvia spoke about the importance of advancing gender equality in waste sector given that women are part of the 20 million global informal waste collectors. However, women face unique challenges including, limited opportunities to generate comparable incomes, restricted employment options, increased risk of sexual harassment and gender-based violence, fewer opportunities to join formalized operations and increased health risks with limited or no access to health benefits.
  • USAIDs focus is on building an inclusive and just approach to the waste circular economy. They are seeking to champion women as recycling leaders and promote a safe work environment by providing women with technical training, mentoring, personal empowerment and gender-based violence prevention training. These trainings complements USAID’s work with governments to increase capacity building and integrate gender into solid waste management master plans, culminating in business opportunities for women.
  • In particular the Clean Cities, Blue Ocean Programme in the Philippines and Indonesia has provided business and leadership training to female informal waste collectors to increase their technical skills. Once the training is completed these women have access to ongoing training, mentorship programs and funding opportunities to expand or start a new waste related businesses. This programme was seeking to train 500 women on empowerment and basic skills by the end of August 2024, but the programme has already trained over 300 women, putting it on track to exceed its target.

Dr Dorcas Robinson, Oxfam

  • Dorcas presented on considerations for designing gender just agriculture projects to ensure that we create food-first community-led projects where the rights of small-scale farmers are protected so they benefit from investments to reduce and remove emissions.
  • Dorcas focused the need for a gender justice approach that is both gender-responsive and gender-transformative. Gender-responsive projects recognize and address the specific needs and priorities of women. Meanwhile gender-transformative projects aim to advance women’s rights and gender equality, to ultimately empower women’s activism through a better understanding of where power lies and how to influence it.
  • Finally gender must be integrated into the project cycle by defining the project’s commitment to gender equality, then undertaking a gender assessment and analysis, and finally connecting gender analysis to project interventions so that the project addresses key gender risks, challenges and opportunities.

Dr Muhammad Ibrahim, CATIE

  • Muhammad pointed out that women are crucial as they sit in the food security nexus providing opportunities of green business entrepreneurship, research, academia, policy setting and advocacy. However, in a Central American context women face economic disempowerment including inability to access to credit, or assert decision-making power over income.
  • The Mesoamerican Agro-environmental Programme (MAP) has sought to strengthening women’s entrepreneurial, associative and innovation capacities. Through this training 10 500 people, 51% of them women, participated in gender and vocational training among other activities to ultimately increase the participation of women agricultural decision making.
  • CATIE has also worked on a NAMA project to transform the Honduran livestock sector to contribute to a low carbon economy, including increasing gender sensitive climate finance to facilitate the adoption of silvopastoral technologies. CATIE found that lack of access to specialised credit was a key barrier for women, in part because women are more likely to lack sufficient collateral or guarantees and their credit history is more limited.

Inkar Kadyrzhanova, FAO

  • Inkar focused on the need to take a wholistic approach to project design from preparation through to evaluation. For preparation she reiterated the need to appoint a gender specialist and conduct meaningful stakeholder consultations.
  • The next step was identification, where a gender analysis using quantitative and qualitative methods should be used, which then leads to the project formulation which should draw on the previous two steps and ensure that resources are allocated to gender specific components.
  • With regards to implementation the project must collect sex disaggregated data and ensure that men and women benefit equally from the project intervention. Finally, is the evaluation stage which includes capturing the gender learnings from the project and ensuring that this information is shared with stakeholders.

Q and A Session

  • The challenges for women in accessing technological tools were discussed, Oxfam suggested that this was primarily about understanding the different access to tools between men and women and designing tools that support women’s access. USAID reinforced the importance of consulting women about what they have, e.g. access to internet, and considering whether these technologies will help women achieve their economic goals. CATIE raised the importance of training on tools, in particular managing and storing the data from these tools.
  • The waste management challenges faced by local government were considered, in particular local governments often lack human resources and infrastructural capacity, making gender responsive services a lower priority. This can be resolved by building local government capacity, especially through technical assistance.
  • How to activate youth was raised, especially in the context of an aging farming population. CATIE suggested it was essential to reactivate the technical schools provide opportunities for innovation for young men and women.

About the Presenters

About Silvia Petrova

Silvia Petrova is an Urban and Ocean Plastics Specialist with the Bureau for Development, Democracy and Innovation in the U.S. Agency for International Development. In this role, she leads the USAID’s work on preventing ocean plastic pollution by focusing on sustainable solid waste management and recycling approaches in developing countries and leads gender inclusion and women’s economic empowerment work across the ocean plastics portfolio. Ms. Petrova holds a master’s degree in Geospatial Information Science for Development and Environment from Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA and both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Computer Science from Technical University, Sofia, Bulgaria.

About Dorcas Robinson

Dorcas is the Senior Manager for Climate Justice at Oxfam America, working with a team of climate, land, food and energy policy, program and campaign advisors. Trained as a social scientist, Dorcas has worked in the international non-profit sector for over 25 years, always applying a gender justice approach to her work. She has worked at community, local government and national levels in Tanzania and the East and Southern Africa region, with a focus on the right to health, nutrition, food security and social protection. In previous roles, Dorcas developed partnership projects with the FAO, IFAD, and the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) research program of the CGIAR. These culminated in publications including Good practices for integrating gender equality and women’s empowerment in climate smart agriculture programs (FAO/ CARE, 2019).

About Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim 

Dr. Ibrahim is the Director General of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), with more than 26 years of experience on Livestock and Environment. He has contributed in generating knowledge on silvopastoral systems and quantification of ecosystem services in these systems which are being used in the development of policies for climate smart livestock systems. In addition, as a research professor at CATIE, Dr. Ibrahim has graduated experts throughout Latin America who today are working on solutions for sustainable and climate-smart livestock systems. 

About Inkar Kadyrzhanova

Inkar Kadyrzhanova is a senior officer focusing on climate change in agriculture at FAO. Before joining the FAO, she worked as a gender and climate change adviser at the UN Women Office for Asia and the Pacific, where she led the regional work on gender mainstreaming in climate change and disaster risk reduction. Prior to that, she worked at the UN Climate Change secretariat on mitigation, data and analysis issues and supported the negotiation process on climate action by state and non-state stakeholders. She worked at UNDP Regional center for Europe and the CIS covering regional programmes on environment and security and sustainable development. She has more than 20 years of work experience in the area of environment protection and climate change mitigation and adaptation and worked at different UN agencies. She holds a graduate degree from the Moscow State University and two Master’s degrees from the Kazakhstan Institute of Economics and Planning and the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.


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