United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) has said it is imprortant to empower women and girls as critical actors in addressing the impact of climate change.
UN Women representative in South Africa, Anne Githuku-Shongwe, said this during the opening of a three-day gathering of southern African women and organisations working on climate change-related matters in Johannesburg, South Africa. It has been organised by UN Women South Africa Multi-Country office.
She said women are key to the process as they make poor in communities that are highly dependent on natural resources for their livelihood and are disproportionately vulnerable to and affected by climate change.
“This [empowerment] enables the women to use their knowledge and skills in supporting households and community livelihoods that are threatened by climate change; and take part in finding innovative solutions to respond to other impacts of climate change,” said Githuku-Shongwe.
She added that climate change is more than an environmental issue, and its impact cuts across a range of policy areas, including food security, water management, energy, human settlements, transport and health.
Malawi is facing hunger following prolonged dry spells during the 2015/16 growing season.
Two weeks ago, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda announced that government needs at least K258 billion to implement short and medium-term strategies to address hunger and food insecurity which will affect millions of Malawians this year.
Last year, Malawi also experienced another disaster following floods in January 2015 which affected 1.1 million people in 15 of the country’s 28 districts. n