Climate Change And Women In Sub-Saharan Africa

ABANTU for Development, a gender and policy advocacy organization has pointed out the potential effects of climate change on women in sub-Saharan Africa.

Although there’s a limitation of data on the impact of climate change and environmental degradation on women, it is known that in Africa, south of the Sahara, women largely have the responsibility of collecting food, water and household fuel. Droughts, floods, inadequate rainfall and deforestation therefore threaten to increase the burden on women as the quality of rainfall and availability of natural resources is undermined.

Environmental protection and resource sustainability is therefore a critical gender issue. There is the need to demand accountability from people in power on actions they are taking to address this issue.

Gender inequality limits the access and control of natural resources by women. However, women are still required to be responsible for the family’s well-being.

There is therefore the need to improve the participation of women in decision making on climate issues and natural resource sustainability.

In 2009, ABANTU for Development and the Gender Action on Climate Change for Equality and Sustainability (GACCES) received a grant from the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) to run a project titled ‘Building Capacities to Influence Climate Change Policies from a Gender Perspective’.

The project sought, among others, to improve publicity about the gendered nature of climate change and improve women’s participation in decision making on climate change issues.

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