‘Involve women in management of climate change issues’

Stakeholders should involve women in the management of climate change issues in the country, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, caretaker Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection has stated.

She said the current climate change crisis coupled with COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore, the need to take appropriate actions that will ensure a better life for all especially, women, girls, and the vulnerable. 

“Women are increasingly being recognised as more vulnerable to climate change impacts than men as they constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent on the natural resources that threatens climate change the most, ” she added.

She said this at the media launch of this year’s commemoration of the International Women’s Day (IWD), organised by the ministry in partnership with the European Union (EU), and the Global Affairs Canada.

The day was held on the theme, “Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow” with a campaign theme#BreaktheBias.

The day is celebrated annually on everyMarch8, by the United Nation’s (UN) globally to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women, past, present and future. 

It is also used to rally support at all levels to ensure that the rights and empowerment of women in all areas of national development were prioritised.

Ms Dapaah, who is also the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, said women and girls have important roles as primary land, water, and natural resources managers and are powerful agents of change in formulating responses to climate change and thus should be seen as part of the solution.

She said women are fundamental in climate change mitigation, largely due to their critical role in energy efficiency, their receptiveness to greener sources of energy, as well as their power to change consumption patterns. Women and girls are also early adopters of new agricultural techniques and first responders when disaster strikes.

“As a country we should design climate change mitigation and adaptation programmes that reduce women’s and girl’s unpaid care work, whilst strengthening collaboration with all the actors to ensure that gender is adequately mainstreamed in the management of climate change.

Mr Peter Smidt Van-Gelder, Deputy Head of Mission, European Union Delegation to Ghana said the union considered gender equality and empowerment of women and girls as a fundamental human rights issue because women were vital for development in every facet of life.

He assured of the EU’s support to government in its efforts to promote gender equality as an essential precondition for equitable and inclusive development.

Mr Charles Abani, UN Resident Coordinator in his statement read on his behalf by Ifeoma Charles-Monwuba, Director/Representative United Nations Office for project Services Chair of the United Nations Gender Team said these group of people needed empowerment to develop innovative solutions that would improve the adaptive capacity of their communities.

He said the UN would continue its longstanding partnership with the Ministry of Gender to draw attention to the impact of climate change on women and girls.

Some of the activities to commemorate the day includes, cooking competition, ‘What Do You Know” Quiz and seminar on the topic: ‘Climate change; empowering the Ghanaian women for a sustainable tomorrow.

BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI AND ABIGAIL ARTHUR

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