Panel five: Climate Change and Gender Inequality

16th NOV 2021 | 10.00 to 11.30 CET


The increase and deepening of gender inequality is another potential consequence of Climate Change. Women are likely to be disproportionately affected due to climate change because on average women tend to be poorer, less educated, have a lower health status and have limited direct access to or ownership of natural resources. Both the process (actual movement) and the outcomes (rural–rural or rural–urban migration, out-migration mainly of men) of climate change-induced migration are also likely to be highly gendered.


Presenter: Dr. ROSA FERNÁNDEZ, Associate Professor in Global Sustainable Development, University of Warwick

Speakers in this session: 

MIREIA MATA SOLSONA, General Secretary of Equality, Government of Catalonia

MELISSA KERIM-DIKENI, Policy Analyst, Water Governance and Circular Economy Unit, OECD

LESHA WITMER, Steering Committee Member, The Women for Water Partnership

ANTHI BROUMA, Deputy Regional Coordinator. Theme Leader on Water Governance, Sustainable Financing & Diversity (Gender, Youth), Global Water Partnership in the Mediterranean

GHADEER ARAFEH, Founder and CEO, PSS – Protect for Sustainable Solutions

AISHA NANKANJA, Executive Director & Founder, Rural Water Initiative for Climate Action  (Uganda)


Associate Professor in Global Sustainable Development, University of Warwick

Dr. Rosa Fernandez is Associate Professor in Global Sustainable Development at the University of Warwick. An economist by training, she was for seven years Programme Leader of Economics at the University of Chester, where she also had the role of Deputy Head of Department in Social and Political Science. She previously worked in other universities in Spain and the UK. Her areas of research cover a wide range of topics related to sustainability, from renewable energy to health and food poverty. She has written numerous articles, reports and book chapters on those topics, including a participation in the Encyclopaedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, where she was also section editor.



General Secretary of Equality, Government of Catalonia

Degree in Catalan Philology (UAB) Postgraduate degree in Cultural Management (Ramon Llull University) Teaching certificate in Executive Management Alta (Escola d’Administració Pública de Catalunya) Territorial Coordinator for Youth, Girona Director, Public Administration and Governance Territorial Services, Girona Escola d’Administració Pública de Catalunya delegate, Girona Director General for Equality, Ministry of Employment, Social Affairs and Families, Generalitat de Catalunya, January 2016 – 2021. As part of the Directorate General for Equality she was responsible for the implementation of Law 11/2014 for the guarantee of LGBTQ rights, which set up the current 100 comprehensive care services located throughout the territory, as well as the promotion of Law 19/2020 on equal treatment and non-discrimination. She is currently Secretary for Equality at the Ministry of Equality and Feminism of the Generalitat de Catalunya.


Policy Analyst, Water Governance and Circular Economy Unit, OECD

Melissa Kerim-Dikeni is a French and Togolese national. She works at the OECD as part of the Water Governance and Circular Economy Unit. Mélissa has been working in the sustainability field for the past four years with diverse organisations. She holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Sciences Po Paris and a Master’s degree in Law from La Sorbonne University.


Steering Committee Member, The Women for Water Partnership

Lesha is Steering Committee member of Women for Water Partnership (WfWP), advocacy lead. Serves as steering committee member of the European Pact for Water, the Butterfly Effect NGO coalition, AGWA and #ClimateIsWater campaign. She is a (alternate) permanent representative to the UN (CSW, HLPF, UNESCO, UNEA, UNECE, UN Water) on behalf of Business and Professional Women international and WfWP and is representative to the EU Parliament. She chairs the VAM foundation; is a former vice-chair of the Hydropower Sustainability Governance committee; former chair of the sustainable development committee of the Netherlands women’s council, standing committee of IFBPW on sustainable development, former advisor of the Netherlands to the commission on sustainable development. She is a strategic group member of WWQA, core member of the stakeholder Engagement Platform working group and a member of the UNESCO WWAP water and gender working group.


Deputy Regional Coordinator. Theme Leader on Water Governance, Sustainable Financing & Diversity (Gender, Youth), Global Water Partnership in the Mediterranean

With more than 20 years of professional and academic experience, Anthi has worked on water governance, policy and financing, and natural resources management at national, regional, sub-regional and transboundary levels in the Mediterranean within UfM, EU, UN (UNEP/MAP, UNECE, ESCWA, UNDP), IFIs (EIB, EBRD, WB, AfDB), donors (Sida, SDC) and OECD frameworks. She has led/managed and serviced more than 13 regional projects, funded by multilateral (EU, UN, GEF, AfDB) and since 2019 she is leading the agenda on diversity (gender, youth) within GWP-Med. Anthi, a political scientist by education, specialised on global development issues and water policy, through her postgraduate and doctorate studies on global development issues and water policy. Prior to joining GWP-Med in 2006, Anthi worked for three years as a lecturer at SOAS, University of London, and two years as a freelancer water expert in Madrid, Spain.


Founder and CEO, PSS – Protect for Sustainable Solutions

Ghadeer A. Arafeh was born in Hebron City – The State of Palestine in 1985. Ghadeer received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Physics from Palestine Polytechnic University in 2008. She completed her MSc. in water and environmental sciences from Birzeit University in 2013. She is planning to complete her PhD in Water, Energy, and Food Security Nexus and Environmental Justice. She is the Founder of Protect and Sustainable Solutions – PSS. She has conducted many research studies and consultations related to Gender differentiated impacts of Environmental degradation as well as gender and the socio-economic impact of the water crisis and Climate Change in the Palestinian context and Mediterranean region.


Executive Director & Founder, Rural Water Initiative for Climate Action  (Uganda)

Aisha is passionate about building community, embracing diversity, Prototyping strategies for change and enhancing accessibility to the most pressing water needs in under-resourced rural communities. In her career she has focused on ensuring the water rights of the most marginalized people, especially persons with disabilities, children and women. Her professional skills include Social entrepreneurship, research, communications, writing, advocacy, policy, community support and project management. Her Technical knowledge covers One Health processes, Water sources development and protection, Sustainable development, Disability rights, Migration/Displacement, Youth empowerment.