On Gender Equality Day at COP28, the U.S. Department of State is proud to announce a series of strategies, initiatives, and programs addressing the disproportionate impacts of climate change on women and girls and empowering them as climate leaders. The following efforts are guided by the U.S. National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality, in addition to various new and updated gender policies that integrate climate action for the first time.

Integrating Gender Equality & Climate Change In New & Updated U.S. Strategies

  • U.S. Strategy to Respond to the Effects of Climate Change on Women: The first-ever U.S. Strategy to Respond to the Effects of Climate Change on Women formalizes a two-pronged approach to U.S. government efforts related to the nexus of gender equality and climate change: (1) addressing disproportionate impacts of the effects of climate change on women and girls, and (2) empowering women and girls as leaders in addressing climate change.
  • U.S. Strategy & National Action Plan on Women, Peace & Security: The 2023 U.S. Strategy and National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security is situated in the context of challenges and opportunities that unite us as a global community, including the climate crisis. The strategy acknowledges the disproportionate impact of the climate crisis on women and girls and highlights their role as climate leaders, innovators, and decision-makers.
  • U.S. Strategy on Global Women’s Economic Security: The first-ever U.S. Strategy on Global Women’s Economic Security identifies the climate crisis as a key context-setting factor that will inform and influence our efforts to promote women’s economic security, including in entrepreneurship, innovation, and careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Increasing Women’s Participation in the Sustainable Economy

The Women in the Sustainable Economy (WISE) Initiative, a flagship effort of the U.S. government, aims to increase women’s access to jobs, training, leadership opportunities, and finance in green and blue sectors, including energy, fisheries, waste recycling, forest management, and environmental conservation. It brings together governments, the private sector, foundations, civil society, and multilateral organizations to strengthen women’s economic security by focusing on three pillars: (1) promoting well-paying, quality jobs for women; (2) supporting women-owned, -led, and -managed businesses; and (3) eliminating barriers to women’s economic participation in green and blue sectors.

  • Supporting the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) ($10 million): Working with Congress, the U.S. government plans to provide funding for a new call for proposals under the existing World Bank We-Fi Initiative, which aims to support women entrepreneurs in the sustainable economy by scaling up access to financial products and services, building capacity, expanding networks, offering mentors, and providing opportunities to link with domestic and global markets. (This activity is a collaboration with the U.S. Department of the Treasury.)
  • Elevating Girls’ Climate Leadership ($3 million): The new Global Girls Creating Change, or G2C2, program aims to foster and elevate girls leading, shaping, and informing equitable and inclusive climate policies and actions. The project plans to reach 900 girls and young women in at least 29 countries globally through climate action education, advocacy, and network building.

Fostering Entrepreneurship & Innovation to Tackle Climate Challenges

  • Designing Green Energy Solutions in Algeria ($1.2 million): The new Green Energy Design Labs program implemented by World Learning will support design labs in Algeria to empower local women to develop and implement strategies to overcome barriers to employment and entrepreneurship in green energy and high-growth economic sectors.
  • Promoting Women’s Climate Entrepreneurship in APEC ($500,000): At APEC 2023, the Global Innovations through Science and Technology (GIST) Initiative offered women climate entrepreneurs the opportunity to secure funding for their ventures, collaborate with the U.S. private sector, learn valuable pitching skills, and build new partnerships in APEC economies. GIST will hold a series of follow-on activities to ensure participants continue to develop their capacities.
  • Supporting the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) in India ($106,000): The AWE program seeks to train 150 women in north and central India to professionalize, expand, and increase profitability of their businesses. More than 50 percent of participants are focused on green technology, waste value chains, agriculture, and other sustainable business models.
  • Nurturing Indian Women’s Green Entrepreneurship ($75,000): The Women Entrepreneurs in the Green Economy series of workshops conducted in Warangal, Visakhapatnam, and Hyderabad, India, trained 40 women entrepreneurs seeking to advance businesses related to renewable energy, pollution reduction technologies, energy-saving devices, and emission reduction. Selected women-led startups from the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha received coaching in entrepreneurial skills, mentorship, and support to attract investors.
  • Greening the Way for Asia’s Financial Markets ($15,000): In May 2023, a regional forum united 76 women leaders from diverse sectors across 13 Indo-Pacific countries to advance Asia’s net-zero financing. Through the Women in Finance Asia (WIFA) partnership, the platform facilitates networking, bolsters efforts for a net-zero transition, and drives regional governments’ decarbonization goals.
  • Amplifying U.S. & Indian Women Climate Innovators: U.S. Consulate General Mumbai is facilitating a mentorship program that connects Indian women climate innovators with American women from the Innovation Station network. This program encourages professional development and collaboration in areas such as recycling, climate education, emissions reduction, and sustainable agriculture.

Empowering Women & Girls as Climate Leaders & Agents of Change

  • Promoting Women’s & Girls’ Pacific Climate & Clean Energy Leadership ($1.5 million): This new initiative will support implementation of the Pacific Energy and Gender Strategic Action Plan (PEGSAP), which seeks to promote women’s climate and clean energy leadership by increasing career opportunities for women and girls in 22 Pacific Island countries and territories. Pilot projects will promote women-owned businesses in the sale, distribution, and maintenance of renewable energy systems, and scholarships will allow women and girls to pursue studies in relevant STEM fields.
  • Advancing Women in the Clean Energy Workforce in Southeast Asia & the Pacific ($1 million): The Women Energy Leaders (WEL) program will advance the professional development of women in the clean energy workforce in Southeast Asia and the Pacific through mentorship, technical and leadership skills training, capstone projects, and job shadows to empower women to become leaders in decarbonization and the clean energy transition.
  • Training Leaders for Climate Action in the Middle East & North Africa ($1 million): The Leadership Development Fellowship provides young leaders aged 28 to 35 in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with the opportunity to complete training in leadership, civic engagement, and social entrepreneurship. The project equips participants with new tools and networks of likeminded citizens prepared to engage directly in the urgent need to accelerate climate action.
  • Empowering Women Government Officials in India ($23,000): U.S. Consulate General Mumbai, in collaboration with the World Institute of Sustainable Energy, is training 100 women government officials in Maharashtra, India, to become more aware, knowledgeable, and skilled on issues of climate policy, planning, and communication.
  • Strengthening Indonesia’s Fisherwomen Movement in Facing the Climate Crisis: This International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) project empowers fisherwomen in addressing the climate crisis, acknowledging their vital role in the fisheries sector. It aims to enhance their capacities, raise awareness of their challenges, and harness their knowledge to generate solutions for climate-related issues.

Building Women’s & Girls’ Capacities & Skills

  • Training Young Leaders for Climate Action ($1.7 million): The Student Leaders Program seeks to empower youth ages 20-24 with the skills, tools, and professional networks needed to increase their capacities to become leaders in social, economic, and political arenas across MENA, with emphasis on climate and environmental action. The program builds a cadre of climate leaders knowledgeable about the impacts of climate change and equipped with the tools to plan and implement innovative climate action projects in their communities.
  • Enabling Women in Energy in Pakistan ($540,000): The U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council (USPWC)’s Energy Scholars Program funds Pakistani women STEM students for a certificate course in green energy engineering at Texas A&M’s Qatar campus, promoting women’s participation in technical fields related to the energy transition. (This activity is a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy.)
  • Promoting Skills Training for Girls in Bangladesh ($500,000): In partnership with Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) Skills Development Program, this project offers apprenticeship-based skills training for 1,200 girls who have dropped out of school and face a higher risk of child, early, and forced marriage in climate-vulnerable coastal regions of Bangladesh.
  • Advancing Women’s Sustainable Businesses in India ($228,000): Through the Women Wielding in the Workplace project and Global Links Initiative, women entrepreneurs in east and northeast India received training in business skills to advance their environment- and climate-related businesses.
  • Creating Citizen Scientists in India ($130,000): The Ocean Matters: Safeguarding Ocean Health program seeks to train 100 Indian teachers and 1,000 high school students in Kochi, Chennai, and Puducherry in the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) and other international microplastic monitoring protocols. This project will create citizen scientists using evidence-based methods of monitoring, measuring, and mitigating climate change.
  • Advancing Women’s Climate Knowledge in India: Through five events in 2023, American Corners in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam educated 60 women on the challenges posed by climate change. These events included a two-day workshop on best practices to combat climate change, a multi-phased filmmaking workshop on documenting climate change, and a multi-day workshop on clean energy.

Advancing Women & Girls in Climate Adaptation & Resilience

  • Promoting Gender Equality & Climate Action Through Seed Banks & Nurseries ($1.2 million): This program will provide training and career pathways to ensure women’s workforce opportunities in seed banks and nurseries in Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jordan, Morocco, and Panama. Activities will improve parity of women in climate science, climate change planning, and conservation while ensuring future viability of critical species for ecosystem conservation, restoration, reforestation, and watershed conservation.
  • Collaborating on Climate Resilience in Spain & Andorra ($29,000): Women under 30 from Spain and Andorra received leadership training to become more effective climate advocates through this eight-month program. The initiative provided professional development training in collaboration with prominent U.S. organizations to help participants develop and implement climate resilience initiatives in their local communities.
  • Galvanizing Youth to Tackle Climate Challenges ($25,000): The Young Unheard Voices for Action on Climate Change (YUVA) program conducts youth outreach, mentoring, dialogue, and advocacy for climate action on waters and linked ecosystems in South Asia. It includes workshops for 60 participants, helping them to develop plans to address climate change through the lens of entrepreneurship.

Communicating & Disseminating Women’s and Girls’ Contributions to Climate Action

  • Sharing Women’s Land Stewardship in the Jordan Valley ($298,000): The Women of the Land program, in partnership with the Royal Film Commission, is supporting 18 filmmakers to produce documentaries about women in the Jordan Valley and their stewardship of land in the face of climate impacts.
  • Discussing Climate Change & Trafficking in Persons in India: In the context of a Netflix docuseries produced locally in India, this program will include a public event that convenes the series director, subject matter experts, community representatives, and law enforcement officials to discuss how climate change impacts women and girls in the region.
  • Leveraging Teachers for Climate Action in Jordan: In Zarqa, Jordan, a climate change workshop was convened to highlight women’s roles in climate action and empower students to propose climate solutions for their community. The workshop demonstrated ways for English teachers to incorporate climate change into their lessons.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future