Experts have lamented how climate change, poor economic policies and gender disparity amongst other factors, are pushing more women into worsening poverty.
Pointing out that the negative effects of these factors are being borne by the world’s poorest which is made up of mostly women, they said more women would be forced into acute poverty, widening the gap between men and women.
Speaking at a CSO-Media roundtable dialogue organised by Vision Spring Initiatives in collaboration with the Lagos State Government, International Centre for Environmental Health and Development and the Rose of Sharon Foundation in Lagos to mark women’s month, the executive director, Rose of Sharon Foundation, Dr. Ndudi Bowei, revealed that as the economic situation of the country worsens, women are bearing the brunt of it.
“Statistics show that 45 percent of the poorest households in urban areas in Nigeria are headed by women and as women make up the greater number in agribusiness, they need to know how to adapt to the changing world caused by climate change and this can only be achieved with better gender-responsive policies and mainstreaming that will save that sector and her key players from collapse”, Bowei added.
Speaking further on gender equality in the context of the climate crisis and disaster risk reduction as well as exploring the linkages between gender equality, agriculture and socio-economic advancement; they highlighted the global contributions of women and girls to adaptation and mitigation and reviewed responses and strategies for building a better and more sustainable future for them.
Present at the dialogue were media personnel, representatives of Civil Society Organizations, government officials as well as widow farmers and women in the agribusiness sector.
According to Ngozi Nwosu-Juba, “We are reminded that women and girls’ participation and leadership results in more effective action. This year’s campaign theme indicates the crucial need to break all cultural and socioeconomic biases of inequalities against women, as their contribution to development is significant if Nigeria is to achieve her Sustainable Development Goals.”
They stressed the need to amplify voices and advocate at all levels for the development and implementation of policies, laws and initiatives that support gender-responsive approaches to women and girls’ well-being and climate justice whilst ensuring women’s participation in decision making is at the heart of all debates.
“These approaches must incorporate multi-stakeholder partnership on gender mainstreaming, equal access to training, services, land rights, economic opportunities, long-term adaptation learning and agricultural financing for all women.”