Cecilia: Week 2 – Gender equality

Week 2 and COP21 are coming to an end. Even if the negotiations are substantially delayed, I can feel by the atmosphere in the rooms that people are getting really tired and would like this deal to be finished now.

However, as it is now, the agreement is way too weak, and we are not ready to give up!

This week has been filled with endless struggles and frustrations. Not only because it is even more difficult to attend the negotiations, but also because when we do get the chance to speak up, we sometimes have difficulties in being taken seriously – by leaders and civil society. I more and more realize how important it is to increase the gender and generational balance in these places and make sure that people are aware of our important contributions. Because I know that we have made a real impact! It might not be obvious, but in the same way as ministers agree on things behind doors, we also manage to lobby governments to have the courage to speak up for human rights and gender equality.

During these difficult days, we have also had the chance to participate in more inspirational side events and actions filled with energy and commitment! It is wonderful to see how the large environmental movement can come together in solidarity, even if we do not always fight for exactly the same things. All of us still want the world to become a better place and we are doing everything in our power to make sure that the Paris Agreement will be a strong agreement. It will give us the mandate to continue with our work and force countries from all over the world to do the same.

I miss the other delegates; it has only been Gabriella and me here this week. We are not able to participate in everything, so we have been focusing on getting gender equality and human rights - including indigenous peoples’ rights - in the legal part of the agreement. This has been done together with other civil society groups, and it has been great to work with such a diverse and professional collection of people.

Yesterday was International Human Rights Day, and on that day we lost human rights in the operative part of the language. It was of course a huge disappointment. But we are trying our best to get it back in, even at this late stage of the negotiations.

Unfortunately, this is our last night together. Tomorrow morning, I will be on my way home, and I think I will reach my family before the final text is actually finished (very delayed!). But I hope that our friends from the other organizations will hang in there and not give up! I will keep pushing as much as I can, using social media and emails. 

This is a historical moment and we cannot fail.

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