The call to address the gender gap with regard to climate change and its impact on women, peace and security is hinged on three areas.
The areas are the deliberation to amplify women and other marginalised groups in the design and implementation of climate actions and promotion of an integrated climate, peace and development response.
Additionally, there is the need to support implementation of policies against sexual and gender-based violence by government and other key stakeholders.
These were disclosed by the Resident Representative, UNDP-Ghana, Dr Angela Lusigi at the opening of the second lecture series on women, peace and security agenda organised by the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding in Accra yesterday.
Themed, “Gender, Security and Climate Change: Building Strategic Action for Sustainable Peace,” the lecture brought together relevant stakeholders to share ideas on the issue.
According to Dr Lusigi, it was important to understand the inter-linkages between gender, climate and security as evidence suggested that climate impacts exacerbated key drivers and contextual factors of conflict and fragility, which threatened the stability of states and societies.
She explained that climate change had a direct impact on social cohesion, as many countries in the sub region, including Ghana, continue to witness increased competition and conflicts between farmers and nomadic pastoralists over scarce resources.
Furthermore, Dr Lusigi said climate change was worsening the pre-existing gender inequalities, adding that issues such as risein temperature, changes in rainfall patterns and water scarcity were contributing to a breakdown of traditional agricultural systems.
This, Dr Lusigi said, made it difficult for men and women to perform their traditional social roles with the associated anxieties and frustrations contributing to volatile home environment and increased domestic violence.
The issue of migration, DrLusigi noted, was a challenge as most women became vulnerable when their husbands move to other places and were left behind due to the impact of climate change.
She also underscored the need to address the issue of food insecurity saying “a key coping strategy for households when food is in short supply is for women to give the available food to their children and go hungry”.
For her part, the Deputy Executive Director of WANEP, Mrs Levinia Addae-Mensah, said WANEP was committed to bridging the gap in gender on issue of climate change which she said was evident in the resource persons invited.
She noted that the ideas that would be shared would add up to the already existing policies on the subject matter while stressing on youth inclusion in policy formulation.
The Deputy Director of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP), Ms Sabiah Kpekata, indicated that addressing gap in climate change called for a comprehensive approach, and therefore urged stakeholders to contribute their quota.
The Commandant at the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Major General Francis Ofori, highlighted the importance of the use of quantitative research method in order to understand gender inequality gap in relation to climate change.
BY BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY