Southern Africa women and organisations working in climate change-related matters have asked their Heads of State and Government to listen to their voices to prevent a recurrence of the 2015/2016 growing season disaster.
The call was made on Friday at the end of their three-day gathering to discuss issues of gender and climate change, which took place in Johannesburg, South Africa and was organised by UN Women South Africa Multi-Country office.
In a declaration they made at the end of the meeting, the women and the organisations said they appreciate the initiative taken by the chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), Botswana President Ian Khama, to champion issues of climate change to fellow Heads of State and Government at the upcoming Sadc summit in Swaziland, in August this year.
“We rural women, women smallholder farmers organisations, supporting civil society organisations (CSOs) and the media is southern Africa region urge our leaders to implement existing commitments and policies made at regional and international level that are to do with issues of climate change and gender equality to ensure that the problems we are facing now do not reoccur,” reads part of the declaration which was handed over to UN Women representative in South Africa, Anne Githuku-Shongwe.
Githuku-Shongwe assured the gathering that the declaration will be put in front of political leaders for their urgent action as challenges of climate change to women are real. n