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Nordic ministers for gender equality: Integrate the gender perspective into climate work

The connection between climate change and gender was discussed at the meeting of the Nordic ministers for gender equality affairs on 21 September 2011 in Helsinki. ¬– Sustainable development and alleviating the impacts of climate change require equality between women and men, the ministers stated at their meeting.


Fotograf: Anna Korhonen

The ministers discussed how different sectors could make more extensive use of the gender-specific information there is available on, among other things, the consumption of food and energy and on physical activity, which the gender equality sector has produced to intensify the work against climate change.  A data bank on this will be published in November.

Climate change is the key theme of the Finnish Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers. The Nordic equality ministers have cooperated on this theme since 2008. Climate change is not only an issue for the developing countries but its impact is also felt concretely in the Nordic countries. During the recent heat waves, for instance, more women than men died in Sweden. The reasons for this are multifaceted, and more research is needed into the connection between gender and climate.

Women and men in the Nordic countries also influence the climate change by their own behaviour. There is evidence that for instance men’s and women’s different income levels have an impact on what they do during their leisure time and thus also on the climate. For instance, men use more often private cars while women most often use means of public transport.

During the meeting the ministers also touched on gender mainstreaming in the Nordic countries as well as some other gender equality themes. They also took a look at the events to be arranged under the Norwegian Presidency in 2012.  The meeting was chaired by the Finnish Minister of Culture and Sport Mr Paavo Arhinmäki, who is also in charge of gender equality affairs in Finland. Minister Arhinmäki told his colleagues that Finland is preparing an action plan on gender equality that will focus on issues related to working life and education. The efforts to achieve equal pay for women and men and to prevent violence against women will also continue. The gender and, in particular, male perspective will be of particular importance in the Government action plan to reduce poverty, inequality and social exclusion.


More information:
Annamari Asikainen, Senior Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 50 512 5617,
Mia Mäkinen, Project Coordinator, National Institute for Health and Welfare, tel. +358 20 610 7261
Silje Bergum Kinsten, Senior Adviser, Nordic Council of Ministers, tel. +45 3396 0251