Amplify Women’s Voices in Climate Action: Insights to COP-28

Climate change’s relentless impact, driven by human activities, prompts urgent responses amidst escalating temperatures and unprecedented events amongst which the women’s voice has to be amplified.

Amid these challenges, efforts to build resilience persist, with a recent media briefing emphasizing the pivotal role of women in addressing the climate crisis and advocating for the amplification of their voices.

Organized by the Office of the First Lady in collaboration with Mama Doing Good and GROOTS Kenya, the briefing in Nairobi brought together climate journalists, women leaders in climate action, and grassroots communities.

Central to the discussions was the crucial involvement of women in combating climate change.

The intersectionality between climate change and its disproportionate impact on women and girls was a focal point.

Recognizing their vulnerability during crises like El Nino, it was underscored that climate change intensifies risks for the most marginalized and less empowered social groups.

The engagement served as a rallying call to safeguard and bolster support for women as they tackle the repercussions of climate change.

Notably, the crisis exacerbates existing inequalities and poses threats such as violence against women and girls, jeopardizing their livelihoods, health, and safety.

Reports, like the United Nations Environment Programme’s ‘Powering Equality,’ highlight that up to 80% of those affected by the climate crisis are women.

Dr. John Chumo, CEO of Mama Doing Good, stressed the need to acknowledge the unique challenges faced, especially in the African context, and highlighted the pivotal role women play in addressing the climate crisis.

Dr. John Chumo, CEO of Mama Doing Good

Women-led initiatives have been instrumental in empowering grassroots communities, showcasing their immense potential in mitigating climate change’s adverse effects.

The briefing prioritized addressing issues related to climate adaptation, resilience, and the imperative to upscale financial support for adaptation projects benefiting communities grappling with extreme climate impacts in Kenya.

Fridah Githuku, CEO of GROOTS, highlighted how climate change exacerbates existing inequalities for women’s voices and girls at the community level. She emphasized their critical role in providing solutions, particularly during water scarcity or low harvests.

Fridah Githuku, CEO of GROOTS

The meeting underscored a commitment to inclusivity, equity, and climate justice, aligning with the ethos of ‘leave no one behind’ to safeguard the most vulnerable in grassroots communities and marginalized areas.

The urgency for climate change response actions was reiterated, as seen in the discussions during the African Climate Summit, where leaders pledged to intensify efforts in crisis reduction.

These actions span embracing renewable energy, supporting innovation, and investing in solution-driven ideas to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold and secure a promising future for generations to come.

Hon. Hariette Chiggai praised the proactive stance of Her Excellency Mama Rachael Ruto, the First Lady, in championing women as pivotal in climate mitigation efforts. She commended initiatives aimed at increasing forest cover and creating platforms to showcase female-led climate solutions, emphasizing the necessity to keep women at the forefront of these endeavors.

Highlighting the leadership of women in addressing climate and food crises in Kenya and Africa, Hon. Hariette stressed the importance of gender data to advance climate justice and address gender equality in the agriculture sector.

Hon. Hariette Chiggai, Presidents’ Women Rights Advisor, Advocate, VP Emeritus LSK, Dep. SG EALS, Certified Professional Mediator, Arbiter, MBA Finance, Governance Expert.

She concluded with a call to engage the world, emphasizing that African women’s and girls’ voices possess the solutions to climate change.

She urged that commitments and investments must integrate these voices, asserting that this generation should be the last to experience the impact of climate change and the first to act decisively to mitigate its effects.

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