Empower women, build resilience against climate change

The Chronicle

Business Editor

THERE is a need to scale-up empowerment of women and other disadvantaged groups in society to build adequate resilience against the adverse impacts of climate change.

Speaking during the occasion of the National Women and Girls sporting event in Bikita, Masvingo last week, communication and advocacy officer in the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality, Norah Takaindisa, said women, children, youth, and people with disabilities are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change, which affects their active participation in productive activities, including sporting.

“These vulnerable groups commonly face higher risks and greater burdens from the impacts of climate change in situations of poverty, droughts, floods, tropical cyclones and several other impacts of climate change,” she said.

“In response to these disproportionate impacts and towards empowering women and building resilience, the ministry has developed several policies at national level that recognize the disproportionality of the impacts of climate change between women and their male counterparts and speak to the mainstreaming of gender in climate change issues.

“The policies include, The National Climate Policy, The Low Emission Development Strategy, The National Climate Change Response Strategy, among others.”

In terms of capacity building and awareness on climate change issues, Takaindisa said her ministry has been carrying out awareness campaigns and capacity building programmes on climate change in all the provinces across the country.

For instance, she said the ministry has completed a training of student teachers in agricultural colleges on the issues related to climate change across the country with an equal participation between men and women.

“My ministry recently completed a climate change research mainstreaming programme with seven local universities where 40 percent of the participants were women,” she said. “The ministry is also teaching communities especially women and the youth on the several available adaptation options such as the growing of small grains, keeping small livestock, establishment of nutrition gardens, venturing into alternative livelihood options such as bee keeping and fishkeeping,” said Takaindisa.

As a way of protecting the environment from the ozone layer depleting substances, she said the Government was also carrying out training on the phasing out of hydrofluorocarbons, HFCs in industries and polytechnics where the participation of women has been observed.

Following the adoption of the Gender Action Plan by the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC in 2019, Zimbabwe conducted its own assessment of climate change impacts on gender.

The assessment informed the development of Zimbabwe’s climate change and gender action plan in 2021, which recognizes the gap that exists between man and woman and fosters gender sensitive climate change mitigation and adaptation actions and promotes active participation of both man and woman in all programmes and activities.

“The ministry is playing a critical role towards building resilience and empowering women through several initiatives and at local level several projects have been implemented, which seeks to better the livelihoods of women and the youth in some of the most vulnerable communities,” said Takaindisa.

Article Source: The Chronicle

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