Half of Africa’s population are women, and these women are mostly heavily reliant on the environment for their livelihoods. Due to this they are at high risk from climate change and its impacts. This is because climate change increases the disadvantages they face in their daily lives.
It has been estimated, by the World Economic Forum, that it will take 135 years to close the global gender gap. To help close this gap it is important that women are brought into climate action. The knowledge African women have on natural resources and the environment are incredibly important, in order to create effective adaptation policies and actions. Their knowledge includes that on agriculture, seeds, land preparation, climate-sensitive cropping, storage, bio-fertilisers, and the management of pests.
African women working within agriculture must also receive adequate technology and finance to increase their climate action.
African countries can increase their socio-economic advantages with a resilient water-energy-food transition. Therefore, it is important that African countries are equipped with clean energy, as well as water and agriculture adaptations.
For this to be successful, women need to have access to education and economic opportunities.
In March 2021, the Global Perspective on Women, Environment, and Climate Change was launched in Egypt. This had seven actionable areas and African Women’s CAP Initiative has aims to build on three of these areas. The mission of the initiative is to increase ensure women’s inclusion in the just transition to a climate-resilient future.
The three areas include:
- Promote gender sensitive perspectives within adaptation, mitigation, and responses
- Leverage opportunities for women within the just transition to the green economy and green consumption habits and within blue economy in the context of achieving sustainable development
- Promote educational and behavioural change on women and climate change
- Increase co-operation among African member states
- Enhance existing structures and frameworks
- Strengthen commitments for investing in women
- Capitalise on existing Public-Private-Partnerships
- Promote gender sensitive social protection policies and measures