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International Women’s Day (IWD), 2022 and Launch Of Advocacy Tool Kit For Justice For Widows

Nairobi & Virtual

From: Mar 08, 2022 | to: Aug 14, 2022

Moderator: Rev Dr Lydia Mwaniki - Director, Gender and Women AACC

THEME: BREAK THE BIAS TODAYFOR A SUSTAINABLE TOMORROW: ROLE OF THE CHURCH IN PROMOTING GENDER EQUALITY IN ADAPTATION, MITIGATION AND RESPONSE TO CLIMATE CHANGE

International Women's Day (IWD) is a Day marked annually to celebrate contributions of women and to raise compelling voices on pertinent socio-political, economic and cultural issues of women locally and globally. IWD serves as a platform to call for actions to accelerate gender parity. 

The AACC theme for IWD 2022 is, “Break the Bias Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow: Role of the Church in Promoting Gender Equality in Adaptation, Mitigation and Response to Climate Change”. This theme is aligned with the global theme, “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, recognizing the contribution of women and girls around the world, who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all”. The global theme is drawn from the upcoming 66th Commission of the Status of Women (CSW) theme[1].

Women play a crucial role in climate change adaptation and mitigation. They have the knowledge and understanding of what is needed to adapt to changing environmental conditions and to come up with practical solutions. Nevertheless, they are still a largely untapped resource. Restricted land rights, lack of access to financial resources, training and technology, and limited access to political, economic, social and religious decision-making spheres; including underrepresentation in Climate Justice forums, often prevent them from playing a full role in tackling climate change and other environmental challenges[2].

According to UN Women, advancing gender equality in the context of the climate crisis and disaster risk reduction is one of the greatest global challenges of the 21st century. Women are increasingly being recognized as more vulnerable to climate change impacts than men, as they constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent on the natural resources, which climate change threatens the most such as water and firewood.

When rains fail, women are hardest hit as many of them are in agriculture, food production and food security. Increase in food prices affects the poor, 70% of who are women. Furthermore, the greatest challenge of malnutrition, which affects 1 out of 3 people globally, is born by women. Thus, without working on gender equality, it may be difficult to achieve climate justice as well as sustainable development.

The Bible offers basis for gender equality in care for creation in that male and female are created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27) and are given equal mandate to be good stewards of God’s creation (Genesis 1: 28). Ensuring equal action, resources and decision-making for all in adaptation, mitigation and response to climate change will lead to food and economic security, good nutrition and sustainable development among others.

So, how can the church promote gender equality today, to enable women and girls to be equal partners with men in the process of adaptation, mitigation, and response to climate change, for a more sustainable future for all?

AACC seeks to respond to this question during a Hybrid Continental Consultation to celebrate the IWD on 8th March 2022.

As part of responding to the question, AACC will also launch an Advocacy Tool Kit for Justice for Widows. AACC recognizes that widows in Africa experience more than double the violation of a married woman because of some cultural norms and beliefs, which subject them to dehumanizing practices that rob them their rights and dignity. Widows are exposed to poverty, making the impact of climate change even more hostile to them.

Objective

The main objective is to accelerate and strengthen actions by Church leaders to promote gender equality today, for women and girls to be equal partners with men in the process of adaptation, mitigation, and response to climate change, for a more sustainable future for all.

Other objectives are:

  • Join the world in commemorating IWD
  • Celebrate the achievements of women and girls in adaptation and mitigation of climate change
  • Highlight opportunities, gaps and challenges facing women and girls linked to climate change
  • Offer recommendations to churches, governments, policy makers and stakeholders on ways of advancing gender parity today for sustainable future for all in the face of climate change
  • Launch AACC Justice for Widows’ Tool Kit

Expected Outcomes

  • IWD commemorated
  • Increased gender equality and empowerment of women and girls in adaptation, mitigation and response to climate change
  • Increased advocacy for gender equality and decreased levels of GBV in the continent
  • Increased advocacy on the plight of widows and change of attitude towards widowhood

Participants and Methodology

The IWD will be a three-hour hybrid meeting from 11:00hrs-14:00hrs EAT. The event will host about 100 participants, 50 of whom will meet physically at the Desmond Tutu Conference. They will be composed of heads of Gender/Women’s Programs in the Continent, AACC Male Champions for Gender Justice, Widows, Church Leaders, FBOs, CSOs, youth and taskforce team for the development of advocacy tool kit for Justice for Widows. There will be a Key Note Address, Good Will Messages, panel discussions and plenary sessions during the Consultation.

 Below is the link to the Zoom webinar 

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85489979248?pwd=YWFnR1Y4RU5NOS9HTWRsQi9xWFZuQT09