A Consultative Workshop on Gender Climate Information Services has begun in Accra.
About 60 participants are attending the two-day workshop, which is taking place on the theme: Enhancing gender engagement in the uptake and use of Climate Information and Services (CIS), is being organized by the United Nations(UN) Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) and WISER.
The workshop is discussing the nexus between gender and climate change and to explore ways of enhancing the role of women in the production, uptake and use of CIS at both policy and practical levels.
Specifically, the workshop aims to 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; and explore ways of strengthening the enabling environment for enhancing women's roles in CIS.
The workshop will also catalogue best practices and innovative ways of boosting women's involvement in CIS as well as discuss mechanisms and a strategy for partnership-building with women in the climate change sector in Africa.
Addressing participants at the opening of the workshop on Tuesday, December 11, 2018, Mr Frank Rutabingwa, Senior Natural Resources Officer, ECA, Ethiopia, noted that most African economies depended on a climate-sensitive economic sector such as agriculture which required climate change information as well as information services.
Mr Rutabingwa said climate change was impacting heavily on rain-fed agriculture in Africa while dwindling water resources were affecting the livelihoods of fishers, with women bearing the brunt.
He explained that women were more likely than men to have primary responsibility for household tasks, for which reason they bore additional burden when there was drought or erratic rainfall patterns occurred.
To lessen the burden, he said, appropriate climate change information ought, therefore, to be made easily available, adding that the ECA took climate information seriously in an effort to help stabilizes and transform African economies.
Dr Rose Mensah-Kutin, Director, ABANTU for Development, a gender and policy advocacy Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), underscored the importance of climate information as a valuable and relevant tool in containing the impact of climate change.
Dr Mensah-Kutin noted that climate information was not a rural phenomenon, even though it touched directly on the livelihood of local communities, adding that there was the need to validate and value women's knowledge of the climate.