The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has proven beyond reasonable doubt that the Earth’s climate is warming even without additional anthropogenic emissions into the atmosphere. The report further indicates the resulting Climate change will be widespread in Africa with far reaching consequences on African people and their environment especially, severe impacts on food security, water availability and human health. Hence the implication of variability in precipitation and seasonal changes will necessitate more than ever adaptation measures to manage and reduce the risks on productive systems such as agriculture and forestry as well as health in order to build resilience. The risk of changing climate is further compounded in Africa by challenges of access to climate data and information, which creates difficulties in assessing the overall risks and vulnerabilities triggered by seasonal variability and climate change.
The newly released IPCC special report on 1.5 degrees warming reiterates many of the findings of the 5th assessment report, and cites disproportionately higher flooding risks for women living in cities as well as potential for increased workloads for women due to agricultural adaptation measures.
Climate change is not gender-neutral; women are disproportionately (and, often, more severely) affected by its impacts. Gender-based inequities lead women to face more adverse climate change impacts than men. The same holds true with disasters: women are particularly exposed to disaster risks and are likely to suffer higher rates of mortality, morbidity and post-disaster ruin to their livelihoods. Several underlying factors exacerbate women’s vulnerability to the impacts of disasters, including limited livelihood options, restricted access to education and basic services and discriminatory social, cultural and legal norms and practices.
The limited engagement of women in CIS and related climate change dialogues poses serious challenges in sufficiently adapting to and mitigating against climate change impacts. The world’s poor whose majority (70%) are women1 are significantly affected by extreme weather and climate events such as droughts and floods. In Africa for example, women are responsible for gathering and producing food, collecting water and sourcing fuel wood for cooking and heating, which increases their exposure to adverse climate events compared to male folk. However, women have significant knowledge and understanding of the changing environmental conditions, which could play a crucial role in identifying viable and practical community adaptation. Their limited engagement in CIS and other climate change related issues thus denies the public this strong knowledge and expertise which remains largely untapped on the continent.
In recognition of this challenge and the pressing need of looking for conducive options to engage women in CIS generation, uptake and use, and to enhance their capacity to keep climate impacts at bay and build long term resilience, ACPC in collaboration with the ECA’s African Centre for Gender (ACG), is organizing a two-day consultative workshop to deliberate on the above issues and come up with recommendations to address them.
- The Overall objective is to discuss the nexus between gender and climate change and explore ways of enhancing the role of women in the production, uptake and use of CIS, at both policy and practice levels.
The specific objectives include:
- Deepen appreciation of the link between gender and climate change in Africa;
- Identify conditions that inhibit women’s strong engagement in CIS and climate change issues;
- Identifying options for enhancing the involvement of women in CIS and climate related issues;
- Explore ways of strengthening the enabling environment for enhancing women roles in CIS;
- Catalogue best practices and innovative ways of boosting women involvement in CIS;
- Discuss mechanisms and a strategy for partnership building with women in the climate change sector across Africa.
- A meeting report;
- Recommendations for strengthening the enabling environment and enhancing women participation in CIS and climate change issues;
- A catalogue of best practices and innovative ways of women empowerment.
The consultative workshop will be a mixture of panel discussions and presentations structured as follows:
- Women challenges and inhibiting factors of women engagement in CIS and climate change issues;
- The strong case and the need for enhanced engagement of women in use of CIS;
- Women empowerment and best practices for adoption of an enhanced of women participation in CIS;
- Options for consideration in women engagement in CIS and related areas.
The workshop will be attended by women scientists, academics, practitioners, researchers and opinion leaders from different African countries as well as men with strong engagement and knowledge of gender and climate change issues.
Enhancing Gender Engagement in the Uptake and Use of Climate Information and Services (CIS) Mr. Frank Rutabingwa
Inclusive engagement in CIS and climate change issues Ms. Ann Kobia, Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), Kenya
Gender, Climate Change and Development Nexus in Africa Ms. Keiso Matashane-Marite
Group 1 - women role involvement in climate sicence and CI production
Group 2 - Women role in uptake and use of CIS
Group 3 - role of women in influencing policy