India does have Jayanti Natarajan, a woman Environment minister. But how many women actually get a say in or be part of any policy making when it pertains to environmental and climate change issues directly affecting the women?
India ranked 46th at the first ever 'Environment and Gender Index' (EGI) launched at a side event of the Conference of Parties (COP19) here on Tuesday.
Of the other Asian neighbours, Indonesia (33rd rank) and China (34) ranked much ahead while Nepal (53) and Bangladesh (60) were behind India while Pakistan at 67th rank was the last Asian country in the global list of 71 countries.
The EGI - a project of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) - claimed to monitor gender equality and women's empowerment in the environmental arena.
Among the positive interventions from across the globe, the report mentioned India's Sustainable Livelihoods and Adaptation to Climate Change (SLACC) project as an intervention to promote women's empowerment and certain adaptation activities.
Iceland topped the chart, which had United States of America (USA) at the 14th place. "Even when USA showed the highest performance of women without anemia, it showed lower performance - equal to Greece and Bangladesh - when it came to inclusion of women in policy-making positions," Ruta Aidis, a strategist who came up with analysis for the EGI, said.
The report acknowledged that women make up the majority of farmers, but only 1% of them worldwide own land; that women often have tremendous experience adapting to climate change, but they do not sit at the decision-making tables and women throughout Africa, Asia, and Latin America are poised to lead in small-scale energy entrepreneurship, but the world's financing mechanisms do not reach them.
"The EGI assesses the conditions for gender equality and women's empowerment in the environmental arena using 27 indicators divided into six categories. EGI's goal is to measure progress, improve information, enhance policy and programme development, and ultimately empower countries to take steps forward for gender equality and for the environment," said Rebecca Pearl-Martinez, EGI manager for IUCN.