1. Agriculture World

More African Women should have a Voice in Policymaking, UN official Urges

As part of this year's theme, "gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow," Alarakhia spoke on climate challenges, agriculture, education, and women's leadership. She said, “Because of their reliance on agriculture, women are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change and natural catastrophes. In several African countries, women account for 90% of agricultural employment.”

Shivam Dwivedi
Women's participation in Meetings
Women's participation in Meetings

Women make up the majority of Africa's agricultural workers and bear the brunt of climate change's effects, but their views are frequently ignored in agricultural and climate-related decisions and activities. That's just one of the opinions expressed by a UN official in light of the United Nations' commemoration of Women's Day.

"Women account for 80% of those displaced by natural catastrophes, and 14 percent more are likely to perish," said Mehjabeen Alarakhia, the United Nations Women regional adviser for women's economic development in East and Southern Africa. The United Nations Women is a UN entity dedicated to gender equality and women's empowerment.

"Similarly, because women bear a disproportionate amount of unpaid care and household labour, they are frequently responsible for fetching water or gathering cooking fuel. With the rise in climate-related incidents, women will need to devote more time to meeting the demands of their families."

As part of this year's theme, "gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow," Alarakhia spoke on climate challenges, agriculture, education, and women's leadership. She said, “Because of their reliance on agriculture, women are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change and natural catastrophes. In several African countries, women account for 90% of agricultural employment.”

Other disparities might arise as a result of women and men having different access to productive resources, such as improved seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, tools and equipment, labour, credit, and other production factors.

Climate change, environmental deterioration, and natural disasters disproportionately harm women. Women may have to walk further to obtain water, putting them in danger of not only time poverty but also gender-based violence.

Highlighting the role of U.N. Women play in empowering African women, she said, “Women's rights activists and women themselves should have more opportunities to participate in negotiations and talks with policymakers and decision-makers so that their opinions may be heard directly.”

“We also collect data and evaluate trends so that policymakers can make informed decisions based on solid research and facts.”

Concluding her speech, she said, “It is critical for women to have a seat at the decision-making table. Some countries, for example, have one of the highest proportions of women in parliament in the world. (Women make up 61 percent of Rwanda's lower house seats.) We also have poor involvement percentages in other areas. Women must be present in that area, serving as role models and champions for the next generation.”

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