An awareness campaign on Gendered impact of climate change with a focus on the pivotal role that women can play in climate change mitigation and adaptation programmes and strategies was launched this morning at the National Women Development Centre, Phoenix, by the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Mireille Martin.
Organised by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, the objective of the campaign is to encourage the active participation of a greater number of women in community-based adaptation programmes and response strategies to climate change impacts.
In her keynote address, Minister Martin stated that there seems to be a public perception in Mauritius that the country is totally safe from climate change and that the common people are completely unaware of how that phenomenon is slowly having its impacts on the country in the form of rising sea levels, altered rain patterns, droughts and fewer storms. ‘It is thus paramount to sensitise our communities on the associated implications of this issue’, she said.
The Minister added that it is clear that climate change impacts affect men and women differently, given the different roles and responsibilities they have at the household and community levels. ‘The impacts are more far-reaching for women with namely additional tasks to the other time-consuming domestic chores as well as adverse effects on their health caused by stress and fatigue’, said Mrs Martin. According to the Minister, clear and appropriate information on the various concepts of climate change as well as on the required adaptation programmes are prerequisites for women to become key active agents of adaptation and valuable contributors in climate-sensitive activities.
The launching ceremony was followed by a seminar targeting some 100 representatives of women associations. The seminar focused on concepts of climate change, measures of adaptation and mitigation as well as an introduction to the rain harvesting project. Three similar regional seminars will be held in Bambous, Rivière du Rempart and Lallmatie. User-friendly flyers highlighting key issues related to climate change will also be distributed across the island as part of the awareness campaign.
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