Gender bias in ipcc

Women are increasingly prominent in climate negotiations. Familiar figures include United Nations climate chiefs Patricia Espinosa and Christiana Figueres, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and youth activist Greta Thunberg. Yet gender equity is far from being realized across the climate research community, including in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Although the numbers of women involved in writing IPCC reports have increased steadily since the 1990s, a gender imbalance and barriers to women’s participation persist.

Women are increasingly prominent in climate negotiations. Familiar figures include United Nations climate chiefs Patricia Espinosa and Christiana Figueres, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and youth activist Greta Thunberg. Yet gender equity is far from being realized across the climate research community, including in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Although the numbers of women involved in writing IPCC reports have increased steadily since the 1990s, a gender imbalance and barriers to women’s participation persist.

Women are increasingly prominent in climate negotiations. Yet gender equity is far from being realized across the climate research community, including in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Although the numbers of women involved in writing IPCC reports have increased steadily since the 1990s, a gender imbalance and barriers to women’s participation persist.

Although the numbers of women involved in writing Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientific reports have increased steadily since the 1990s, a gender imbalance and barriers to women’s participation persist. A survey of IPCC participants showed ongoing gender biases and barriers.

We summarise key findings of a recently published report on gender in the IPCC, and outline steps that the organization can take to address ongoing gender biases and barriers.

Many governments have committed to advance gender equality, but less is known about the factors affecting women in climate science. In a new study, we show that the number of women contributing to IPCC reports increased substantially from the early 1990s onward, and that the proportion of papers authored by women has doubled. Yet women remain under-represented in this research community, and must fight to overcome barriers like biases based on perceptions of gender differences in scientific ability, and unconscious assumptions about biological sex and crafting strategies at home to manage work-life balance.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has always strived to be inclusive and gender balanced in its representation of authors and contributors. Yet the research community overall still exhibits persistent gender imbalances, at all levels from undergraduate studies to the professoriate1,2. In this report, we examine why these imbalances persist, and we advise on measures that the IPCC can take to tackle them.

These barriers include difficulties in accessing and analysing data, fewer opportunities to receive formal training in climate modelling and reports reviewing the scientific literature, and a lack of research experts who can appreciate and interpret the impact of gender-related issues. As a result, women are less likely than men to be involved in all stages of report production, from contributing to chapter drafts to taking leadership positions.

Women for Climate Justice Now, who provided the initial funding for this research, acknowledges that climate change is a global threat that must be addressed with gender equity and social justice in mind. Recognizing the disproportionate vulnerability of women to climate change, we are deeply concerned by the under-representation of women and their historical perspectives in the decision-making process. Women for Climate Justice Now is committed to ensuring that women’s voices are represented at all levels of the decision-making process, including within our own organization.

Personality traits are more important than gender in writing IPCC reports.

The Chair of each working group is selected jointly by the Bureau and the incoming Working Group Co-Chairs in consultation with the Co-Chairs of the Task Force on the IPCC Working Group Processes. The Bureau Members are listed below, according to their regions.

Women are increasingly prominent in climate negotiations. Familiar figures include United Nations climate chiefs Patricia Espinosa and Christiana Figueres, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and youth activist Greta Thunberg. Yet gender equity is far from being realized across the climate research community, including in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Although the numbers of women involved in writing IPCC reports have increased steadily since the 1990s, a gender imbalance and barriers to women’s participation persist.

Women are increasingly prominent in climate negotiations. Familiar figures include United Nations climate chiefs Espinosa and Figueres, Barbados Prime Minister Mottley and youth activist Thunberg. Yet gender equity is far from being realized across the climate research community, including in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Although the numbers of women involved in writing IPCC reports have increased steadily since the 1990s, a gender imbalance and barriers to women’s participation persist.

Women are increasingly prominent in climate negotiations. Familiar figures include United Nations climate chiefs Patricia Espinosa and Christiana Figueres, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and youth activist Greta Thunberg. Yet gender equity is far from being realized across the climate community, including within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Although the numbers of women involved in writing IPCC reports have increased steadily since the 1990s, a gender imbalance and barriers to women’s participation persist1.

Although the numbers of women involved in writing IPCC reports have increased steadily since the 1990s, a gender imbalance and barriers to women’s participation persist.

As members of the Task Group on Gender — including report authors, staff members and government representatives — we describe and analyse results from an IPCC survey that uncovered persistent gender biases and barriers.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group of scientists, government representatives and nongovernmental organizations, prepares comprehensive assessments of climate change and its impacts, risks and options for adaptation and mitigation. In 2018, the IPCC set up the Task Group on Gender to improve understanding of gender-related issues in the IPCC process. The group’s report, presented at a plenary session in May 2019, showed that despite representation from several countries with large gender inequalities, the IPCC has overall balanced representation from women and men. The study also highlighted barriers to women’s involvement within the science community and found that women are underrepresented in key positions within the IPCC. Recommendations included improving access to data on participants’ identities and allocating responsibility for gender considerations across the board. Targeted efforts are needed to support women in science who are affected by discrimination or social attitudes.

The balance of power in climate negotiations has shifted. In the ongoing climate talks, for example, many world leaders are women. Yet a recent IPCC report3 reveals gender biases and barriers in climate research and governance.

Advances in science and technology play a key role in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. However, gender biases in the climate research community can diminish this potential for progress. To remedy this problem, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) commissioned a report to investigate barriers that women face in participating in IPCC activities. The results reveal that a lack of “gender awareness” is a barrier to women’s involvement, as shown by attitudes that justify avoiding gender issues or that depict women and men as inconvenient or impossible to accommodate. More than half of male respondents and two-thirds of female respondents agreed that “the science community sees gender equality as too political for it to address” (Supplementary Table 2). In addition, more than 40% of male respondents agreed with statements such as “Including gender analysis is not essential to climate change science”; more than 80% of female respondents disagreed with this statement (Supplementary Table 5).

Report on gender barriers and biases in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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