What Is It All About?
Gender justice looks at how resources, benefits, and privileges offered by nature, families, community or government are distributed or shared equally to benefit both genders. These resources include natural resources like Land, water, forests, minerals and those provided by systems like schools, health centres, leadership, job opportunities etc.
A climate Just solution or approach is where man and woman are all offered favorable environment and opportunity to compete, access, utilize and have powers over a resource he/she is entitled to- irrespective his/her gender orientation.
Most communities prefer to offer women certain roles while men are offered other roles, all these roles come with challenges and limitations. For examples a woman kept as a house wife will not have any opportunity to make decision on what matters to her because men are sitting in village meeting where society think they belong to. There is no representation of views and ideas of different genders.
Some times society even give segregated roles in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, race, level of education and more- these altogether result in imbalances, chaos, conflict and struggle in the society for who is the winner!
As a result allocation of roles in respect to gender are sometime unfriendly and detrimental to societal development, therefore there should be equal opportunity, access and rights to all resources available for mankind.
How Does Climate Justice affect Gender?
Power relations and socially constructed gender norms shape the rights, roles, capacities and preferences of people with different gender identities throughout Uganda. Women are often impacted disproportionately by the impacts of climate change compared to men. At the same time, they face limitations when it comes to active participation in climate policy and responses.
A young girl or mother in the rural areas or peri settlement has a default role to collect Energy source (for Clean cooking solutions) or water, surely this would be good idea, however, water sources are some times very far exposing the individual to other risks, stress, weary and additional burden, it implies that's this individual will have limited time to attend to other important issues due to time spent to perform a particular work. To learn more read about Women in-shadow of climate-change
Equal participation of women and men, and commitment to gender justice in local decision making processes is an
important step, yet this alone is not sufficient in the local communities. National plans need to meaningfully integrate and implement an inclusive and gender responsive climate policy.
1. Why include gender into climate policy?
Different genders contribute differently to the causes of climate change. Individual carbon footprints are a product of gendered roles, responsibilities and identities.
☑ The impacts of climate change vary by gender. Due to their socially constructed roles and attributed responsibilities,
climate change mitigation puts additional burdens to* (women, people with disability and other vulnerable groups.
☑ Attitudes, preferences and capacities to respond to climate change vary by gender. As different roles in society result in different attitudes towards policies and measures, such as farming, commercial use of land favors men than women.
☑ Socio-economic factors, such as disparities in income and occupational choices which favors certain sex, ethnic group, area and level of education. Climate policy therefore needs to recognize and integrate gender dimensions in order to become more effective and to be respectful of human rights.
Gender Climate solution is therefore is working to ensure that gender dimensions are fully integrated into the country
climate policy. Gender responsive approaches must be developed in adaptation, mitigation and low-carbon development.
Finance, technology sharing and capacity building, as well as outreach and participation, must also be gender responsive to meet the needs of women and men.
Improving Women's Adaptation to climate change?
In spite of their vulnerability, women are not only seen as victims of climate change, but they can also be seen as active and effective agents and promoters of adaptation and mitigation. For a long time women have historically developed knowledge and skills related to farming, Seed preservation, water harvesting and storage, food preservation and rationing, and natural resource management.
In Uganda, for example, the elderly women represent wisdom pools with their inherited knowledge and expertise related to early warnings and mitigating the impacts of disasters. This knowledge and experience that has passed from one generation to another will be able to contribute effectively to enhancing local adaptive capacity and sustaining a community's livelihood. For this to be achieved, and in order to improve the adaptive capacity of women nationwide particularly in rural communities, the following recommendations need to be considered:
• Adaptation initiatives should identify and address gender-specific impacts of climate change particularly in areas related to water, food security, agriculture, energy, health, disaster management, and conflict. Important gender issues associated with climate change adaptation, such as inequalities in access to resources, including credit, extension and training services, information and technology should also be taken into consideration.
• Women's priorities and needs must be reflected in the development planning and funding. Women should be part of the decision making at national and local levels regarding allocation of resources for climate change initiatives. It is also important to ensure gender-sensitive investments in programmes for adaptation, mitigation, technology transfer and capacity building.
• Funding organizations and donors should also take into account women-specific circumstances when developing and introducing technologies related to climate change adaptation and to try their best to remove the economic, social and cultural barriers that could constraint women from benefiting and making use of them. Involving women in the development of new technologies can ensure that they are adaptive, appropriate and sustainable. At national levels, efforts should be made to mainstream gender perspective into national policies and strategies, as well as related sustainable development and climate change plans and interventions.
Article produced by Safeplan Uganda for Gender Justice Climate Solution-Akena Daniel