By Nina Somera, Isis International

Copenhagen, Denmark (10 December 2009) – Finland has been hailed as the champion of women and gender rights in the climate change talks here at the Bella Centre. Finland, along with Liberia was among the first to articulate the need for greater women’s participation in the process. It has also earmarked some 500,000 Euros to fund the participation of Southern women, particularly those from Africa.

“Finland has put their money where their mouth is, and contributed 500,000 Euros for the participation of women and building their capacity in this process,” Minu Hemnati of Gender CC – Women for Climate Justice asserted.

For its part, the country’s Ministry of the Environment Director on Climate Change Sirkka Haunia pledged continuous commitment on women and gender issues in the climate talks. “We will continue our support. We would also like to see countries integrating gender into their national adaption programme of actions (NAPAs),” she added.

Finland has also been supportive of the women and gender constituency’s proposed text in the Shared Vision or the preamble of the outcome document of the 15th Conference of Parties (COP 15) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The text reads:

“The full integration of gender perspectives is essential to effective action on all aspects of climate change, including adaptation, mitigation, technology sharing, financing, and capacity building. The advancement of women, their leadership and meaningful participation, and their engagement as equal stakeholders in all climate related processes and implementation must be guaranteed.”

The “Gender Champion of the Week” is being organised by the Gender CC- Women for Climate Justice to recognise governments that are articulating strong interventions on gender and provide significant support for women in the climate talks. Other nominees were Bangladesh, the Solomon Islands and Lesotho.

Another round of nominees will be selected next week, which is expected to be more intense as world leaders arrive to approve the outcome of the process.

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