An environmentalist, Mr Olumide Idowu, says women are increasingly more vulnerable than men to the impacts of climate change, because they are more dependent on threatened natural resources.
Idowu, who spoke on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 in Lagos, noted that gender roles in Africa had made the recurrent climate effect to have a huge toll on women especially.
The environmentalist said women were often responsible for gathering and producing food, collecting water and sourcing fuel for heating and cooking.
Idowu said that with climate change, these tasks were becoming more difficult and the extreme weather events such as droughts and floods have a greater impact on the poor and vulnerable women.
“Women and girls are more affected by drought because they have to trek isolated distances in search of water.
“The resultant effect is absence from school, exposure to sexual violence and myriad of challenges,” he said.
Idowu also appealed to environmental boards and stakeholders to make policies in favour of the female gender.
“This is because when women are empowered, they can be extremely effective agents of adaptation,” he said.
Idowu said women have the knowledge and understanding of what is needed to adapt to changing environmental conditions and come up with practical solutions.
He recommended that women’s priorities and needs must be reflected in the development planning and funding.
“Women should be part of the decision making at national and local levels regarding allocation of resources for climate change initiatives,” Idowu said.
He advised that donor agencies should take into account women-specific circumstances when developing and introducing technologies related to climate change adaptation.
“There has to be a realisation at the global level that climate change impacts men and women differently, so the responses will need to take into account gender inequalities,” Idowu said.
By Mercy Omoike