Across societies the impacts of climate change affect women and men differently, and evidences show that women are disproportionally impacted by the negative effects of climate change, especially in the African continent. A Yale study shows that countries with more female politicians and a more balanced female representation in national parliaments pass more ambitious and stringent climate change policies. Therefore, there is a need to encourage the participation of women in politics and in leadership roles with the local authorities and communities, especially to develop gendered sensitive approach to climate change.
The Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) and the Network of Locally Elected Women of Africa (REFELA) acknowledges those challenges and the crucial role women have in climate change adaptation and mitigation through their knowledge and understanding of what is needed to adapt to changing environmental conditions and to come up with practical solutions. By proposing to mainstream gender and climate action into urban policy, through developing gender-segregated data, gender relevant climate action and promoting inclusive participatory processes, these initiatives highlight the need to incorporate gender equality and women empowerment into the operational responses to climate change at the local level, to develop more resilient and low carbon cities. However, cities in Sub-Saharan Africa lack funding and financial support for developing climate action, and especially financing gender relevant climate action in order to reverse the underinvestment in gender equality in the economic infrastructure sectors, and to improve opportunities for women to participate in the green economy.
Host: ICLEI Africa, South Africa