InsuResilience Gender Working Group: Addressing the gender gap in climate and disaster risk financing and insurance

Climate change impacts often overwhelmingly differ for men and women (UNFCCC, 2019). Therefore, there is a strong case for keeping gender-responsiveness in focus when deploying climate and disaster risk finance and insurance (CDRFI) solutions, to achieve the intended developmental impact and to avoid exacerbating existing inequalities.

While gender-responsiveness is not about an exclusive focus on women at the exclusion of men, taking a focus on gender can often lead to a specific emphasis on women, given pervasive historical and existing inequalities. 

Gender-responsiveness is not only a moral imperative but it is necessary to provide women the tools to be their own agents of change and it represents an economic opportunity with broader benefit for society as a whole. For example, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) estimates that the global women’s insurance market has the opportunity to grow to three times its current size, to USD 1.7 trillion by 2030 (IFC, 2019).

The InsuResilience Global Partnership (The Partnership) has made a clear commitment to take proactive steps to integrate an intentional focus on gender within the execution of its mandate and as a cross-cutting objective for all workstreams and activities. This was well captured in The Partnership´s Vision 2025, announced at the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019. 

In August 2019, the Partnership established a Gender Working Group with more than 15 members of the Partnership. The two co-chairs are from Global Affairs Canada (Government of Canada) and CARE International. The Working Group brings together experts from all of its different stakeholder groups, from implementing programs, private sector, multilateral institutions, academia etc. They work collaboratively in guiding the Partnership to realize its gender-responsiveness commitment and move this commitment towards meaningful action.

To support this effort, the InsuResilience Secretariat has commissioned a background paper and subsequently, an analytical study. These two research pieces have developed a deeper understanding of the gender-gaps in current approaches to climate and disaster risk financing and insurance (CDRFI) and put forward concrete recommendations for addressing gender-gaps.  

Building on this productive work, in 2020, the InsuResilience Secretariat, guided by the Gender Working Group, will focus on knowledge exchanges on gender-responsiveness in CDRFI and on mobilizing action to address gaps and opportunities. To support this, the Partnership will graduate from asking, “what are the gaps and opportunities” to “how can we drive action and implement?” 

A webinar series organised by the InsuResilience Secretariat is planned in the coming months. Stay tuned to further understand gender-gaps and how to drive corresponding action in current approaches to CDRFI.

Please contact the Secretariat if you would like to join the gender working group and related activities.