The ability of African countries to realize success in climate change response hinges on greater involvement of women and girls who have borne the brunt of extreme weather events, campaigners said.
Memory Kachambwa, executive director of Nairobi-based African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) said that gender parity is key to accelerating the continent’s green transition.
“We need to raise the voices of women and girls ahead of the global climate summit to ensure that Africa receives adequate financing to boost our coping mechanism in the event of droughts, forest fires and cyclones,” Kachambwa remarked at a recent virtual forum in Nairobi.
She noted that African women and girls have disproportionately suffered as the climate crisis in the continent worsens poverty, hunger, malnutrition, conflicts and displacement.
According to Kachambwa, climate change has also escalated gender disparities as women and girls lose economic opportunities, suffer from violence and spend more time looking for basic household necessities like food and water.
She urged African countries to advocate for gender-sensitive climate financing at the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).
Kenya on Saturday played host to a forum on promoting gender-responsive climate action in Africa convened by FEMNET, the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) and Women’s Environment & Development Organization.
Mithika Mwenda, executive director of PACJA, said that African countries should enact gender-inclusive policies in order to realize climate-resilient growth.
According to Mwenda, gender equality will be key to the success of future climate action strategies in a continent already reeling from shocks including hunger, water stress, habitat loss and rapid spread of disease-causing pathogens. Enditem