Kenya: Feminists - No Progress in Global Warming Without Women's Input

27 October 2021

Countries can achieve their commitments to limiting global warming if the crucial role of women in climate change mitigation strategies is recognised, feminists said on Monday.

The Paris Agreement binds countries to a commitment of limiting global warming to1.5 degrees Celsius and women, according to various studies, play a central role in reducing greenhouse emissions.

UN Women Watch, for instance, indicates that although women in the rural areas primarily use wood, charcoal and agricultural wastes, which emit greenhouse gases, they are excluded in trainings on innovative energy technologies.

"It follows that the lack of recognition of the role of women in the energy sector, leads to 'gender-blind' energy policies that fail to address some of the most pressing factors affecting the capacity of developing countries to adapt and mitigate climate change," it notes in its Women, Gender Equality and Climate Change document.

Agricultural policies

Rosalie Ouoba, a member of Burkina Faso's Nous Sommes la Solution movement, said women must be involved in developing agricultural policies.

"In West Africa, women contribute 70 per cent of food production. But they cannot own land due to traditional mind-sets," she said on Monday during a Defending and advancing indigenous feminist ecological alternatives webinar by Natural Justice.

She said without the involvement of women, there will be no friendly environment free from pollution.

Policy researcher, Bhumika Muchhala called for integration of care work and care economy investments in measures to tackle global warming.

As indicated in the Care and Climate brief by Feminist Green New Deal Coalition, climate change will put even more pressure on demand for health and care work.

As such "public investment in care (economy) will be necessary to mitigate inequities flowing from climate disasters."

At the Generation Equality Forum, some philanthropic organisations and countries pledged to invest in the care economy to advance women empowerment in the next five years.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged to spend $650 million to strengthen the care economy alongside supporting women's empowerment collectives, improve women's financial inclusion, and reduce barriers to paid work.

Tanzania's government also committed to up scaling national multi-sectoral childcare programs in addition to establishing community based childcare centres in the villages, workplace and market centres.

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