FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon chaired a panel on the main stage of COP26 and told delegates climate change "is a feminist issue”.

Sturgeon was introduced on the main stage by US speaker of the house Nancy Pelosi.

The First Minister also told delegates that Scotland will be a “commitment maker” focussing on supporting women and girls to lead a just transition.

She was joined on the main stage by Fatou Jeng, founder of Clean Earth Gambia and YOUNGO member, Tarcila Rivera Xea, an indigenous activist and founder of Chirapaqous, and Asa Regner, the deputy executive director at UN Women.

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The First Minister opened the “Challenging Conversations” panel in the Plenary Pen Y Fan on Tuesday afternoon and said it was a “great pleasure” to be chairing the panel.

She said: “There is no doubt we must ensure that climate change is a feminist issue.

“We must make sure that the experiences of women and girls across the world so often disproportionately impacted by climate change are understood as we devise the solutions, and we must make sure that the voices of women are at the centre of creating and implementing the solutions to climate change.”

Sturgeon then thanked governments who announced commitments under the feminist action for climate justice Action coalition.

She added: “I'm delighted to join them in announcing today that Scotland will become a commitment maker focusing on capacity building and resilience, access to finance and supporting women and girls to lead a just transition.

Nicola Sturgeon's closing remarks for the "challenging conversations" panel

“So these are important. Important times and this is of course, an important discussion.”

The First Minister then asked panelists for their views on how to better tackle the “nexus” between gender and climate.

Regner, former Swedish minister for gender equality, said that women need to be in leadership positions.

She said: “I do see obviously that the politicians need to be held accountable, and it's very, very urgent that that happens. And they have to involve women and girls.

“We know that when women have the power, politics and policies actually do change towards more of legislation, solid legislation and more resource allocation towards climate change.

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“We also know that with more girls in schools, as Speaker Pelosi mentioned, we can actually see that the more access girls have to education climate policies are more prioritised in those countries.”

Meanwhile, Zea pointed out that there are 480 million people living in indigenous communities.

She said: “I think the priority for example, when we were talking about we're going to create a link between climate change and women. Indigenous women must be specifically included.

“It's not one here one there we need to be an integral part of the conversation.

The National:

Sturgeon chaired the panel on the main stage on gender day

“We are not pleading for help, we can contribute our support. We want an investment. We don't want a donation.

“We want investment in the development of our skills, of women and girls, young people and young indigenous populations.”

In response to Zea’s remarks, Sturgeon said: “You said something there that resonated very strongly - women are not pleading to be supported. were demanding to be empowered.”

The National:

Jeng (pictured), from Gambia, said that although women are not the polluters they “bear the burdens that are made by polluters”.

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She said: “This doesn't only show the disproportionate impact of climate change on women. But the fact that gender equality still lags in our climate discussion. still lags in the implementation of our NDC and our national climate agenda.

“And I believe for us to really tackle climate change and to ensure that gender and climate change is a priority.”

Sturgeon closed the panel by calling for greater gender equality.

She said: “Climate change is a human rights issue. Gender equality is a human rights issue.

“The impact of climate on women is a human rights issue and that is how we must see it this is about empowerment, empowerment of women through education, through listening to women's experiences and allowing them to drive the solutions and seeing more women of course, in the decision making rules that are making the decisions and deciding the direction of travel that we take.”