Towards realizing Gender Equality for a sustainable tomorrow #IWD2022
Climate change is not gender neutral, due to existing inequalities, women and girls are disproportionately vulnerable to its impacts, from disease to natural disaster. According to United Nation Development Program (UNDP), 80% of the people most affected by climate change are women. Women make up the majority of the world’s poor and their livelihoods are more likely to depend on natural resources threatened by climate change.
Youth and Women for Peace and Sustainable Development recognized the contribution of women and girls in Kilifi South during this special day whereby the organization empowered 25 young women and mothers who have the urge in leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a more sustainable future for all.
Education also shores up resilience and can equip girls and women to face the impacts of climate change and due to this YOWPSUD hosted a beach hook up on the Tuesday 8th March 2022 with young women from Kilifi South at the Sultan Palace Beach – Kikambala whereby the session was very interactive and informative with upward regulation activities like storytelling (resilience stories), African traditional women ball games (lenga-lenga) and Skip-rope game. The young women used the platform to share their resilience stories on GBV and also shared on the impacts of climate change resulting to early pregnancies.
The sessions for the girls and young mothers offered the perfect opportunity to mingle, share experiences with like-minded queens for it was safe, friendly and non-judgmental environment.
YOWPSUD engaged the girls through out the session spearheaded by Mentors attached the organization with #GirlTalks highlighting a number of issues relating to Gender based violence and it's prevention and how climate change contributes to it.
A number of actions such as fighting, harassments, riot, conflict and misunderstanding were mentioned as constituting violence. From the discussion on gender-based violence it was pointed that there are cultural factors; myths and stereotypes about men and women sexuality. Women are often misunderstood when they refuse sex as majority of men interpret that if a woman accepts some favors, then she is willing to have sex as an appreciation for the same. Sexual abuse often results from this kind of myths and stereotypes.
The violence that these women and girls are subjected to throughout their lives prevents them from realizing their rights as human beings and equal citizen. From the discussion they highlighted that they suffer direct consequences to their physical, sexual and emotional health. Violence in childhood and later has affected some of these young girls’ abilities to fully benefit from and participate in schooling and employment thus constraining their lifetime opportunities for an education and a career.
In addition, the young girls and young mothers were introduced to the #GIRLTURE campaign which was established on 25th May 2021 aiming at creating a pool of girls with a voice of influence to change and the girls were inspired to join the campaign championing them to be ambassadors. They were also equipped with necessary knowledge on menstrual hygiene, personal wellbeing and the importance of dependency in girls.
By bringing them on board, they will continue building alliances and networks, strengthening coordination and increasing communication among their peers. This will include taking steps to influence knowledge, attitudes and behavior related to gender based violence within their own surroundings to increase attention to the issues and strengthen YOWPSUD organizations work to address and focus on the mission and vision.