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General comments and recommendations

General recommendation No.37 (2018) on gender-related dimensions of disaster risk reduction in a changing climate


13 March 2018

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Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women


The objective of this general recommendation is to underscore the urgency of mitigating the adverse effects of climate change and to highlight the steps necessary to achieve gender equality, the realization of which will reinforce the resilience of individuals and communities globally in the context of climate change and disasters. It is also intended to contribute to coherence, accountability and the mutual reinforcement of international agendas on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, by focusing on the impacts of climate change and disasters on women’s human rights.

In this general recommendation, the Committee does not exhaustively cover the gender-related dimensions of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, nor does it differentiate between disasters relating to climate change and other disasters. It should be emphasized, however, that a large proportion of contemporary disasters may be attributed to human-induced climatic changes and that the recommendations provided herein are also applicable to hazards, risks and disasters that are not directly linked to climate change.

In their reports submitted to the Committee pursuant to article 18, States parties should address general obligations to ensure substantive equality between women and men in all areas of life, as well as the specific guarantees in relation to those rights under the Convention that may be particularly affected by climate change and disasters, including extreme weather events such as floods and hurricanes, as well as slow-onset phenomena, such as the melting of polar ice caps and glaciers, drought and sea-level rise.