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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

IWD 2022: Call to integrate women as solution multipliers to climate change

Dr Elizabeth Jeiyol Chair, Gender Thematic Group, Climate and Sustainable Development Network of Nigeria (CSDevNet), writes that the organisation is seeking collaboration and support of all relevant stakeholders to break the bias by the domestication of legal frameworks, strategies and provisions for mainstreaming gender concerns and women’s rights

Women farmers
Women farmers at a training session

This year’s International Women’s Day theme, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow,” highlights the contribution of women and girls worldwide, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation and response towards building a sustainable future for all.

The theme also aligns with the priority theme for the 66th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66): “Achieving Gender Equality and the Empowerment of all Women and Girls in Climate Change, Environmental and Disaster Risk Reduction Policies and Programmes”.

Advancing gender equality in the context of the climate crisis and disaster risk reduction is one of the greatest global challenges of the 21st century. It is worthy to note that this year’s theme for International Women’s Day explores and mainstreams how women and girls should lead the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response around the world, contributing as powerful leaders and change-makers to a more sustainable future for all.

Women and girls are taking climate and environmental action at all levels but their voice, agency, and participation are under-supported, under-resourced, under-valued and under-recognised. And that is why CSDevNet recognises and resonates our voice to all relevant stakeholders to create awareness of the challenges and opportunities to mainstream and achieve gender equality, women’s inclusion in decision-making processes and empowerment of rural women and girls in climate change action.

In continuing to examine the opportunities and challenges, we call on everyone to join hands in transforming and empowering women and girls to have a voice and be equal players in decision-making related to climate change and sustainability to achieve sustainable development greater gender equality.

In furtherance to mainstreaming gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow, we must ensure solutions that integrate a gender perspective into climate, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes; promote and protect women’s environmental human rights defenders; build the resilience of women and girls and their organisations; strengthen prevention, response to disaster risk reduction mechanism; improve and invest in gender-specific statistics and data to amplify the relationship between gender and climate.

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, during his speech for IWD 2022, emphasised the critical role of women and girls in fighting climate change. Today, we have the opportunity to call to action all stakeholders to put women and girls at the centre of planning and action to integrate gender perspectives that will shape national laws and policies.

We have the opportunity now to re-think, re-frame and re-allocate resources. We have the opportunity to benefit from the leadership of women and girls as environmental defenders and climate activists to guide our nation and state conservation.

Climate change is a threat multiplier. But women, and especially young women, are solution multipliers.

Against this backdrop, the Climate and Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet) calls for collaboration and support of all relevant stakeholders to break the bias by the domestication of legal frameworks, strategies and provisions for mainstreaming gender concerns and women’s rights in the contexts of decision making and response to climate change and justice, land degradation and environmental crises and disasters.

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