On ‘Gender Day’ at COP27, ActionAid is calling on world leaders to put the voices of women and girls from the Global South living through the reality of the climate crisis at the heart of COP27 negotiations. It also urges governments to set up a new funding facility so that women and girls can rebuild and recover in the face of losses and damages caused by climate change.
While many communities in low and middle-income countries are feeling the impact of extreme weather conditions caused by climate change, it is women and girls who are being disproportionally impacted. All across the world, the risk of sexual violence, domestic violence, and child marriage is increasing for girls as a changing climate impacts their families' homes and livelihoods.
The Horn of Africa has been affected by intense droughts for four seasons in a row as a result of successive rainy seasons.
Susan Otieno the Executive Director at ActionAid Kenya, said; ‘It’s a forgotten crisis but if we choose to ignore it, we are telling the girls whom we want to see in school that the world cannot help them.
“The priority for mothers is water and so they will take their daughters out of school to walk for miles to gather enough. Girls will miss school and eventually drop out. Then because the family can’t afford to feed their daughter she will be married off, so there are fewer mouths to feed. In time their will be no girls in school and this robs us of any future female leaders.”
Despite being disproportionately impacted, women are leading the way in responding to the effects of climate change on their communities but greater support is needed.
Flora Vano, Program Manager for ActionAid Vanuatu, said: “We are experiencing six to eight climate disasters each month, which means women must work harder to survive. We don’t want to be told to move to another island or another country. I don’t want to wake up to a new flood or tsunami which will wipe out women and girls in my community. No more planning, it’s time for action.
‘‘Women in my community need to be in spaces like COP27 where they can have their voices heard as they are the best people to provide solutions.”
Farah Kabir, Executive Director at ActionAid Bangladesh, said: “For women and girls, there is no continuity in their lives as they have to move 20-25 times because of extreme weather conditions. Their homes are blown away.
“Why is it that the rest of the world are not coming together on the issue of loss and damage finance? 30 years of discussions on loss and damage and all this has not been acted on. It means women and girls are deprived of their childhoods, of food, of security and girls are married because of hunger. We need to talk about gender justice and the issues of displacement.”
COP27 must agree to set up a new Loss and Damage Funding Facility so that climate-impacted counties can access much-needed funds to recover from the consequences of the climate crisis.
To contact the ActionAid media team, email the press office.
Notes to Editor
ActionAid UK will publish the report “Women confronting loss and damage in Africa” on 14 November 2022 drawing on the lived realities of women and girls in Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Zambia, as they grapple with a rapidly changing climate.. If you could like to see the report please contact the press office.
ActionAid is a global federation working with more than 15 million people living in more than 40 of the world’s poorest countries. We want to see a just, fair, and sustainable world, in which everybody enjoys the right to a life of dignity, and freedom from poverty and oppression. We work to achieve social justice and gender equality and to eradicate poverty.