makgwanba-ngwao-culture-group25 September 2013: The Rio Conventions Pavilion convened for Gender Day on 25 September. The Rio Conventions Pavilion is meeting in conjunction with the Eleventh Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), taking place from 16-27 September 2013, in Windhoek, Namibia.

Gender Day included an opening ceremony and sessions on: advances in women’s empowerment over two decades; emerging challenges and opportunities for drylands women; empowerment that improves livelihoods at household and community levels – community-level perspective; empowerment that improves livelihoods at household and community levels – development partners’ perspectives; marching towards gender equality and equity; and a conclusion and closing. The day ended with a reception.

During the session on emerging challenges and opportunities for drylands women, panelists presented research on the challenges of women and how the Rio Conventions are mainstreaming gender in plans and action. Members of Secretariats discussed work on gender under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), including a technical paper on gender-sensitive approaches and the Gender Plan of Action under the CBD, and highlighted the need for harmonization between the three Conventions.

During the session on advances in women’s empowerment, Ministers and representatives discussed gender mainstreaming at the national level in Argentina, Namibia and South Africa, as well as at the international level within the UNCCD.

The session on community level perspectives featured presentations on the impacts of conservancies in Namibia, a women’s cooperative in Namibia, and integration of women into community land projects in Mexico. [IISD RS Meeting Coverage] [Meeting Website]