Women Deliver: Unveiling the nexus of Gender & Climate Change

Empowering Women: Unveiling the Nexus of Gender and Climate Change at Women Deliver Conference 2023

By Luckson Bashoma

The much-anticipated Women Deliver Conference 2023 (WD2023) commenced, bringing together a diverse array of voices and perspectives on women’s empowerment and gender equality. Among the thought-provoking sessions was the captivating exploration of gender and climate change, shedding light on the critical interconnection between these two pressing global challenges

As attendees gathered for the session, there was an air of excitement and anticipation. The conference had witnessed numerous disappointments during the pre-conference phase due to venue constraints, but participants were determined to make the most of this opportunity. My colleague, Tinotenda, and I navigated the conference, fueled by the belief that our presence could contribute meaningfully to the discourse on gender equity and climate change.

The opening ceremony was nothing short of spectacular, with an engaging conversation between the moderator and H.E. Macky Sall, President of Senegal. However, our hearts were set on the gender and climate change session, eager to deepen our understanding of the intricate relationship between these crucial domains.

During the enlightening side event on High-Level Launch of the SIGI 2023 Global Report “Gender Equity in Times of Crisis,” we gained invaluable insights. Presented by Mwanahamisi Singano, Senior Global Policy Lead at Women’s Environment and Development Organization (#SIGI #OECDGender), the report highlighted the disproportionate impact of climate change on women and children during natural disasters.

Stark statistics emerged from the report, revealing that women and children were 14 times more vulnerable to losing their lives compared to men during such calamities. The findings resonated deeply with us, emphasizing the urgency to address the vulnerabilities faced by women and children amidst the challenges posed by climate change.

The session also emphasized the vital role women play in building resilience and adaptation to climate change. Women, as key agents of change, often bear the responsibility of safeguarding their families and communities, particularly in the face of environmental disruptions.

As the discussion unfolded, we realized that climate change exacerbates existing gender disparities. Discriminatory social institutions impede women’s access to education, career opportunities, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), and even vital climate services. The adverse effects of climate change, from increased temperatures to climate-induced disasters, further compound these challenges.

The session served as a wake-up call, urging us to embrace gender-inclusive climate action. It highlighted the need for disaster preparedness plans that consider the distinct experiences and needs of women and children, ensuring they are not disproportionately impacted by climate-related crises.

Armed with newfound knowledge and inspiration, we left the session determined to advocate for gender-responsive climate policies and champion women’s leadership in environmental sustainability efforts. The Women Deliver Conference 2023 underscored the irrefutable truth that empowering women is a linchpin in achieving climate justice and building a more equitable and resilient world for all. Together, let us deliver on this imperative mission.

Luckson Bashoma is the programme manager at ROOTS. This article is part of a series being produced during Women’s Month based on participation by VCSAFund grantees in the Women Deliver Conference held in Kigali in July.

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