Women Delegates Fund

Climate change is the most urgent challenge of the 21st century, and women are responding. Their experiences and perspectives are integral to solutions and must be represented at all levels of decision making. Yet gender inequities continue to challenge women’s full participation, particularly in power and decision making spheres.

Established in 2009 with support of the Government of Finland as a project of the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA) and in partnership with UNDP, WEDO administers the Women Delegates Fund (WDF), which provides support to women delegates from developing countries, and specifically least developed countries, to participate in the global climate change negotiations at the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change). Recently, the Government of Iceland has provided additional support to enhance the scope of the WDF.

Since its inception, the WDF has evolved from a travel fund to an in-depth leadership program for a group of core participants. The Fund has allowed for targeted capacity-building in a range of areas from advocacy techniques to media skills, created a strong network of female delegates, and provided economic support. The effects of the WDF are already being felt; more than twenty-five women delegates who were previously unable to attend UNFCCC meetings have participated effectively, and initiatives and networking led by WDF participants contributed to the groundbreaking eight references to the links between gender and climate change in the Cancun Agreements at the COP16. As one delegate said: “The WDF makes us ambassadors for women across all areas of negotiations. Other countries now want to increase the women on their delegations and, even just by being in the room, we are helping to ensure that gender remains in the language of the text.”

Through the WDF and other initiatives, WEDO is committed to the consistent and increased participation of women across all levels of negotiations at the UNFCCC.

The Latest Women Delegates Fund News

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Building Capacity of Women Delegates at the UNFCCC

Monday, December 1st, 2014

LIMA, PERU (December 1, 2014)– Now in its sixth year, at COP20, WEDO on behalf of the Women Delegates Fund (WDF) hosted a two day training for women delegates, commonly known as the WDF ‘Night School’ as it is held in the evenings after the delegates’ preparatory meetings. Over 17 delegates from across 12 countries joined this workshop, which provided background to the UNFCCC process, rules of procedures and associated techniques to navigate and analyze

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Ensuring Women’s Access and Influence on Climate Change Policy

Monday, December 1st, 2014

NEW YORK (December 1, 2014)– WEDO is pleased to announce its new report – titled “Ensuring Women’s Access and Influence on Climate Change Policy” –  highlighting the Women Delegates Fund (WDF) program, which works to enhance women’s participation and leadership in climate negotiations.

In its newest publication, “Ensuring Women’s Access and Influence on Climate Change Policy”, the Women’s Environment & Development Organization (WEDO) illustrates the latest trends in the participation and leadership of …

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Step Change for Women’s Leadership at the UN Climate Talks: Women Delegates Fund

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

NEW YORK (June 26, 2014)- The Women Delegates Fund was founded in 2009 to provide travel support, capacity building and networking opportunities to women from the Global South, particularly those who have both climate change and women’s empowerment expertise, to join and participate on their national delegations at the UNFCCC. The Fund is supported by the Government of Finland, with additional funds from the Government of Iceland.

Now in it’s sixth year of operation, …

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Strengthening Women’s Participation through Networking & Capacity Building- COP19 WDF Night School

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

WARSAW (November 14, 2013) – Last weekend, 20 female climate change negotiators completed a three nights training with the Women Delegates Fund (WDF) – a program to support and enhance the participation of women delegates in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, funded by the governments of Iceland and Finland, and administrated by WEDO.

The WDF Night School was held in Warsaw, Poland on November 8th-10th, right before the start …

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UNFCCC Women Delegates Networking Reception – Recap and Photos

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

BONN, GERMANY (June 11, 2013)-- Yesterday, in partnership with UN Women and WEDO on behalf of the Women Delegates Fund, the Governments of Liberia and Bangladesh hosted an informal cocktail reception and networking meeting for women delegates at the UNFCCC. The event was held in light of the COP18 Decision 23/CP.18 – ‘Promoting gender balance and improving the participation of women in UNFCCC negotiations and in the representation of Parties in bodies established pursuant to the …

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