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ZELA Press Statement: Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow

Date of Issue: 08 March 2022

Harare: The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) celebrates International Women’s Day with the rest of the globe. This year’s International Women’s Day theme is “Gender equality now for a sustainable tomorrow,” honoring the contributions of women and girls around the world who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response in order to create a more sustainable future for all.

The theme for 2022 corresponds to the key theme for the approaching 66th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66), which is “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental, and disaster risk reduction policies and programs.”

Climate change is a serious global environmental issue that impedes economic development, livelihood systems, and long-term sustainability. Women are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than men in many of these situations, partly because they make up the majority of the world’s poor and are more reliant on natural resources that are endangered by climate change. In addition, they also encounter social, economic, and political obstacles that impede their ability to cope. Women and men in rural communities in developing countries are particularly susceptible since their livelihoods are heavily reliant on local natural resources. Those in charge of securing water, food, and fuel for cooking and heating confront the most difficult obstacles.

Moreover, when coupled with unequal access to resources and to decision-making processes, limited mobility places women in rural areas in a position where they are disproportionately affected by climate change. It is thus important to identify gender-sensitive strategies to respond to the environmental and humanitarian crises caused by climate change.[1]

Gender-based violence and exploitation rise as resources dwindle, land becomes increasingly inhabitable, and climate change increases, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)[2].  As women and girls bear the burden of climate impacts, they are also essential to leading and driving change in climate adaption, mitigation and solutions.. As a result, identifying gender-sensitive solutions to respond to climate related environmental and humanitarian disasters is critical.

It is improbable that solutions for a sustainable planet and a gender equal future tomorrow would be accomplished without the participation of half of the world’s people. To emphasize the relationship between gender and climate, climate solutions must improve and invest in gender-specific statistics and data, while also encouraging women-led and women-focused sustainable solutions.

ZELA seeks to promote gender equality, preserve women’s rights, and ensure marginalized communities and women are climate resilient in the natural resource sector, as guided by our strategic plan. The organisation works with women in marginalized areas to develop their transformative ability and resilience to climate change natural catastrophes through a variety of projects.

ZELA believes that putting gender equality at the heart of climate change solutions necessitates the inclusion of multiple stakeholders including various gender viewpoints. In the fight against climate change, full and equal participation of women and girls in decision-making processes is a primary goal. A sustainable, more equal future is out of reach without gender equality today. Therefore, we all have a role to #BreakTheBias.

END//

Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association

“Creating a legacy in using the law for environmental justice and sustainable natural resource governance.”

For Further Information, Please Contact:

Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association

26 B Seke Road, Hatfield,Harare,Zimbabwe

Website : www.zela.org  |Twitter: @ZELA_Infor | Facebook: Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association

Tel: +263 242 573 601-3


[1] http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/csw52/issuespapers/ Gender%20and%20climate%20change%20paper%20final.pdf

[2] https://www.iucn.org/news/gender/202001/environmental-degradation-driving-gender-based-violence-iucn-study

[3]

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