Panel discussion: Women in the face of natural disasters and climate change

Wednesday, 08.03.2017 – Wednesday, 08.03.2017

Conference Assembly; Public event

A young woman carrying a sheaf of fresh grass on her back.
In the north of India, the SDC is encouraging women to mitigate the effects of climate change by diversifying the forest plants they cultivate. DEZA

Why are women and girls most commonly the first to suffer in the event of a natural disaster? How does climate change affect women more than men? What role can women play to improve their situation? Four female experts will discuss these questions in Bern on International Women's Day (8 March 2017).

Location: Kreuz Hotel, Bern. Free entry on registration.

Gender inequality has a definite impact on the fragile existence fraught with insecurity that women and girls face when natural disasters strike in developing countries. Women and girls are also the first to be affected by climate change, as most depend on natural resources in their daily lives. 

At the same time, women are formidable models of resilience in the face of unforeseen, adverse circumstances, and can play a decisive role in establishing coping mechanisms. 

To address these issues, the SDC and the FDFA’s Section for Equal Opportunities and Global Gender and Women’s Issues is inviting all interested parties to a panel discussion comprising several high-level female experts. The event will be held in English and coincide with International Women's Day on 8 March. 


  • Kirsi Madi, Director of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)

  • Nahla Haidar, Member of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

  • Margaret Arnold, Senior Social development Specialist, World Bank

  • Bridget K. Burns, Co-Director Women’s Environment & Development Organization (WEDO)


If you wish to register for the event, please do so no later than 6 March 2017 at