The British High Commissioner Holly Tett says the Women’s Caucus of Parliament can help in the implementation of climate change and energy programmes to salvage their effects, especially on women and girls.
Several studies show that women are the most hit by the effects of climate change—and in countries like Malawi where the social-economic profile is on the low—the impacts are more severe.
Tett said this on the sidelines of female Parliamentarians retreat in Mangochi which was supported by Oxfam and Christian Aid.
The British envoy called on female lawymakers to utilise their influence in Parliament to push for policy reforms in the environment sector as well engage their communities on behavioural change towards the environment.
She said: “Women play a critical role at the heart of what’s going on. Some of the environmental challenges have a close link with energy and I think there needs to be a lot of policy thinking on how the energy sector can be developed so that people don’t have to draw down on natural resources to sustain themselves.”
On what the UK is doing to help Malawi and in particular, the women to mitigate and adapt to climate change, the British High Commissioner pointed out forestry initiative as mitigation support while promising more in future.
“This is obviously a huge priority not just in Malawi but across the globe, in-fact UK will host the COP 26 negotiations in Glasgow at the end of this year where all the countries will meet to discuss how the world can tackle the critical issue of climate change,” said Tett.
On his part, global programme coordinator for Breaking Barriers Project being implemented in Malawi, Honduras and Ethiopia Innocent Hauya said the women legislators should help advocate for the operationalisation of the National Action Plan on Women Economic Empowerment which the government established and push for the set up of the Women Economic Empowerment Fund.
During the meeting, the female legislators asked non-state actors to support them with various environmental programmes in their constituencies.
Hauya responded that energy issues can draw the attention of key stakeholders if all women parliamentarians joined forces to amply women’s’ voices on sustainable energy and profitable engagement in the energy sector. In her remarks, Speaker of Parliament Gotani Hara urged women to rise above politics and unite in seeking solutions to real matters affecting their people on the ground.