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Monday, September 25, 2023

African women unite for climate justice, reparations, development alternatives

The second Women’s Climate Assembly (WCA) to be held in Lagos, Nigeria from September 24 to 28, 2023, will bring together women from 14 countries across Central and West Africa under the theme: “African Women Unite for Climate Justice, Reparations and Development Alternatives!”

Women’s Climate Assembly
Regional participants at the 2022 Women’s Climate Assembly in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Following on from the success of last year’s inaugural assembly in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, the convening’s overarching goal is to support and unite women-led movements in Africa against dirty energy, the new “green” assault on Africa’s mineral wealth and false climate change solutions which, according to the assembly promoters, allow mega corporations to continue doing damage to the planet.

The platform enables women to build new knowledge together, strengthen their struggles, and propose the women-centered development alternatives that allow people to live lives of dignity with improved income and public services, adapt to a rapidly warming climate, and defend nature and its right to exist in a reciprocal relationship with humans.

The WCA is a collective effort led by a steering group of women’s movements, grassroots networks, and a few non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in solidarity with women in resistance.

Grassroots women from communities in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea-Conakry, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone will gather to build solidarity and counter power against the corporations and governments that are threatening all life on mother earth.

For women fighting for climate justice, the WCA is said to be a crucial political space for education, activism, camaraderie, and movement building. The Assembly will give over 100 community activists and leaders from 14 countries the opportunity to learn, build mutual understanding and solidarity, teach each other, craft political solutions which address their interests, and most importantly make women who carry the costs of the climate crisis visible.

“The strength of women climate assemblies is in their commitment to leaving no one behind, ensuring that the most vulnerable are not only part of the conversation but also the solution,” said Josiane Yebi Boyo from Côte d’Ivoire.

“Grassroots women defending the environment and fighting for climate justice are the true heroes of our time, working tirelessly to heal our planet and secure a brighter future for all,” said Mariama Sonko from Senegal.

The Women’s Climate Assembly coincides with the third African People’s Counter COP holding from September 18 to 29 which aims to centre and strengthen African voices and movements at the frontline of the climate crisis. It is here that the WCA will converge with community and women’s assemblies across the continent to build and advance a deeply Pan African perspective on the climate crisis and African climate justice.

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