Call for gender-sensitive climate change programming

By Tamuka Charakupa

GENDER-themed climate change programming has been identified as a key element in ensuring inclusivity for women in all sectors of the economy.

This came out during belated International Women’s Day commemorations held in Manicaland this Thursday.

Manicaland province held its belated International Women’s Day commemorations at Mashukashuka Business Centre in Mutare South this Thursday, amid calls for inclusive climate change programming that promotes and protects women’s participation in issues that affect their lives.

The Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Nokuthula Matsikinyeri highlighted a number of ways through which women can be empowered in the wake of climate change.

“Technological developments related to climate change should take into account women’s specific priorities, needs and roles, and make full use of their knowledge and expertise, including indigenous knowledge and traditional practices,” said Minister Matsikinyeri.

It also emerged that climate change is among the key drivers of gender-based violence.

“We have seen through our records that poverty and drought are some of the key drivers fuelling gender-based violence and the solution is upon us all to play our part towards mitigating climate change impact,” said Gabrial Jaji, the Acting Manicaland Provincial Development Officer, Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development.

As part of efforts to empower women, the government through the Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank availed a provincial budget of ZWL$1 billion to be channelled towards women’s projects this year.

“This year, our President allocated us about a billion Zimbabwean dollars for us women in the province so the task is now upon us to utilise this funding towards our own empowerment and improve livelihoods,” said Patricia Mutizira, Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank Manicaland representative.

The belated provincial commemorations captured the spirit of the theme – “Gender mainstreaming and empowering women in climate change and disaster risk management”