I write from the perspective of a young African woman seeking to address the position of women, African women specifically in climate justice issues. Effects from climate change are being experienced in different ways across the globe and people in specific countries are also being affected in different ways; some are more hard-hit than others. In Africa this group is women.
Though this might not have been given the proper attention it needs in the past it is now time to focus on the effects of climate change on women in Africa. The reason why most women are highly affected is because they are the main leads in the agricultural - based economies of Africa. This is especially true of women in rural livelihoods. When anything that threatens agriculture happens then women are the fisrt at the receiving end.
It goes even further to affect the larger community since it is known that women shoulder the community. To be more specific, the amount of money that these women can make, most of which comes from small-holder farming, is used to sustain their households by buying food, accessing medical care, taking their children to school among other things. Through this then we can see how climate change affects a larger part of the community starting with women.
This is the main reason why women should be at the heart of the climate justice conversation in all levels. Women need to be heard and their voice is significant if it is united. Women need to join forces, organize and address issues that are pressing to them in the community. They can address some issues like how they can mitigate the effects of climate change by adopting more sustainable farming methods. They can also do community activism and call upon their leaders to do more at the national level to address issues of climate change. To do this effectively they will need information.
In this age, it is easier and even cheaper to an aextent to access information. Using internet women in Africa can get information regarding the ongoing debates, pressing matters, research, methods to reduce the effects of climate change. However, herein is a major problem. I have heard it argued that there is internet connectivity in most parts of Africa now. Out of experience working with youth in many parts of Africa I beg to differ. We have made some progress but reliable internet connecctivity in Africa is still an issue. A point to consider for CSOs and other community workers is using cell phones for this women to access internet and therefore information on climate justice issues. Most people in rural Africa now have cell phones so this would be an easier way of doing it.
As a young African woman, I use the internet to ensure that I link up the youth and woman at the communtiy with information regarding climate change and what they can do. I also tell their stories, especially those that are trying to use practical means to ensure sustainability at the community level. By doing this I am driving the conversation from the higher levels to the community level where the voice of women is heard within the global climate change action.
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