‘India should vigorously pursue G20 agenda’

Scotland commended India’s unique position within the Commonwealth, which mirrors its diverse culture and vast geographical representation…reports Asian Lite News

India should pursue with vigour the G20 agenda and make sure that gender parity and gender inclusive approaches are woven into everything, according to Commonwealth General-Secretary Patricia Scotland.

She said the alarming gender disparities in the impacts of climate change, with a special focus on India’s efforts to address this pressing issue.

Scotland also shed light on the disproportionate burden borne by women and girls and emphasized the urgent need for action, with a particular spotlight on India.

She acknowledged the rapid increase in climate disasters worldwide, with over 7,000 such events occurring in less than two decades.

“What makes this grim reality even more concerning is that women and girls are often the hardest hit victims of these disasters,” she said.

She said the Commonwealth “would strongly encourage India to do is to pursue with vigour the G20 agenda and make sure that gender parity, gender inclusive approaches is woven in to absolutely everything”. Scotland pointed to a recent series of natural calamities in India as a stark example of this inequality.

“It’s scary to see the number of landslides and the droughts and all of it happening in rapid succession,” she said. She noted it is “wholly unacceptable” that they should suffer disproportionately.

India, a country grappling with a series of climate-induced calamities including landslides, droughts, and extreme weather events, exemplifies this issue, Scotland said.

“India really is reflective of all of it because India has the island states, the large states, and one of the states in India is the same size as Nigeria, and you’ve got the coastal states,” she said.

Scotland commended India’s unique position within the Commonwealth, which mirrors its diverse culture and vast geographical representation.

India’s proactive efforts to address gender disparities in the context of climate change serve as a model for other nations grappling with similar challenges, she said.

“India has the Commonwealth window in the UN fund, and we’ve used that Commonwealth’s window for Barbados and for the Bahamas.”

Furthermore, India leads the Commonwealth Finance Minister’s working group, advocating for gender considerations in international financial institutions, she added.

Scotland elaborated upon the steps that the Commonwealth have taken to ensure gender considerations are embedded in its initiatives, fostering a comprehensive approach to addressing gender disparities.

These efforts encompass addressing violence against women, eliminating discriminatory laws, and promoting gender equality within climate commitments. Practical tools, such as the Climate Finance Access Hub and the Commonwealth Universal Vulnerability Index, aim to address gender disparities effectively.

“We’ve embedded in all of these tools the issue of gender parity, gender equality, so it’s not talk, it’s actually giving our countries the mechanisms that they can use, the tools they can use to make sure that the unfairness, that the lack of parity that we have now is addressed,” Scotland said.

As the world prepares for critical climate discussions, including the upcoming COP28, she urged India to maintain its leadership in championing gender parity and inclusive climate approaches.

She also emphasized the integration of gender considerations into all facets of climate discussions and policies.

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