The second episode of the Development Discourse on Peace and Security, the Agora, for this year saw the Young Professionals in Policy and Development (YouPaD), with the support of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), host a discussion series themed ‘The Gendered Climate Crisis: Examining Inter-linkages with Girls’ and Women’s Rights & Security’.
YouPaD hosted the discussion series to commemorate the 2022 International Women’s Day “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”. The event brought two distinguished speakers to examine the nexus of the climate crisis and girls’ and women’s rights and security, alongside the about 60 enthusiastic attendees.
Moderated by YouPaD representative, Zainab Yunusa, the discussion series provided an avenue for knowledge and experience exchange. The speakers, Baliqees Salaudeen, Co-Founder/Head of HR & CSR, Green Republic Farms; and Hauwa Mustapha, Director, Tubali Development Initiative, highlighted practical local and international examples of how women and girls have been marginalised; broken bias, and should be empowered in climate decision-making, policies, strategies and actions. The diverse perspectives of both speakers and the participants provided an intergenerational and interdisciplinary insight into the overall outlook of girls’ and women’s rights & security in Nigeria as it relates to the climate change crisis.
Throughout the discussion, participants anonymously agreed that the impact of climate change is not gender-neutral, thus, it affects different groups in unique manners: unfortunately for women and girls, especially in climate-vulnerable areas, they suffer disproportionately owing to pre-existing, deep-rooted and persisting gender inequalities and discrimination. The speakers and participants shared practical instances from their work and personal experience that aligned with the statement that climate change impacts aggravate the gender inequality women and girls already face, including socio-economic, political, and cultural barriers, thus threatening their livelihood, health, safety and security.
Regarding climate decision-making, policies, strategies and actions, a key demand is equal representation of women and girls (including those from grassroots levels) in the decision-making process of environmental governance. By being well represented, they can contribute their unique and valuable perspectives and expertise to climate action.
For post-event policy advocacy, a policy brief will be developed from the valuable recommendations of the attendees and publicised to critical stakeholders to influence climate change policies and implementation.
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