CSW66 Girls Statement - Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council (GOAC) at the UN
14 March 2022
We, the girls of the 66th Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, see climate change as a global emergency, particularly in the context of girls’ rights. Climate change worsens long-standing inequalities for girls, including gender-based violence, and jeopardizes access to education, economic security, and health resources. We call on the Member States of the United Nations to recognize and act on this growing problem.
As the severity of natural disasters increases, so does climate migration and displacement, increasing girls’ vulnerability to child marriage, pregnancy, and physical dangers including gender-based violence, limited access to food and clean water, and a lack of housing security. These are exacerbated by the absence of gender-conscious legislation, leading to a reliance on charities for disaster relief.
To resolve these issues, we urge Member States to:
- Establish disaster resilience programs and invest in disaster-resilient hospitals, homes, schools, and shelters and
- Ensure girls’ equal access to safe and accessible disaster relief programs, including nutritious food, clean water, menstrual products, and proper sanitation facilities.
Climate change related economic insecurity forces girls into unpaid domestic labor like caregiving and fetching water, hindering their ability to pursue full education, formal careers and economic security. Increased financial burdens caused by climate change put girls at disproportionate economic disadvantage and increased gender-based violence.
In order to equip girls with the skills we need to problem-solve and lead community-based climate resilience initiatives, we demand that Member states:
- Ensure girls’ educational opportunities are equal with boys’ and
- Implement programs that focus on STEM subjects, emphasizing green skills and adaptable agricultural practices.
We, the girls of the 66th Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, call on UN Member States to examine climate change’s disproportionate effects on girls. Member States must actively recruit girls most impacted by climate change, especially those from rural and indigenous communities, to be at the forefront of policy decision-making in order to produce girl-specific solutions. This can be achieved by eradicating stereotypes about girls' ability to lead, listening to girl activists, and encouraging them to take up leadership positions. Member States must also hold the entities that emit large amounts of carbon dioxide accountable for causing climate change by compelling them to reduce emissions and rectify damage that has been done by climate change.
The UN Charter is committed to ensuring the protection of human rights. Mitigating the effects of climate change on girls and securing our rights is included in that promise. Member States are responsible for supporting girls and ensuring girls are equipped with climate-adaptation resources and educational opportunities. We expect these responsibilities to be fulfilled without delay. Full protection of human rights will only be achieved once girls, too, have equal rights and freedoms.