Local Leaders Urged to Champion Gender-Responsive Climate Action

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…Advocacy Meeting Highlights Urgency for Local Action on Gender and Climate Change


Calabar –In a compelling advocacy meeting at Transcorp Hotel, Calabar, the Kebetkache Women Development & Resource Centre, led by Dr. Emem Okon, Executive Director, rallied local leaders, ward councillors, and authorities on Thursday to take immediate action in the face of escalating climate change concerns NEGROIDHAVEN can report.

Participants at the events in Calabar

The event, an initiative under the Oxfam PVP-F4ALL project, aimed to mobilize citizens and empower local organizations in addressing climate change challenges, with a particular focus on gender-responsive strategies. Dr. Emem Okon stressed the pivotal role of grassroots women in spearheading transformative efforts aligned with both nature and women’s well-being.

“Climate change disproportionately affects women and children, especially women in smallholder farming. As we witness disruptions in farming and food production, the repercussions on women’s livelihoods are severe, exacerbating poverty and making survival more challenging,” Dr. Okon stressed.

A Kebekatche organised advocacy session Local Leaders Urged to Champion Gender-Responsive Climate Action

The urgent call to action extended to community leaders, urging them to adopt gender-responsive measures tailored to their local challenges, encompassing flooding, poverty, heatwaves, heavy rainfall, food insecurity, deforestation, lack of water, and sea-level rise. In her speech, Dr. Okon highlighted the importance of community involvement, emphasizing that decisions impacting the environment and economy should be made collaboratively, with a distinct focus on engaging women and girls.

The meeting featured insights from Prof. Lady Ekpiken Ekanem, Professor of Counselling at UNICROSS, who provided a bridge between the gender and climate change policy and its practical implications at the community level.

Speaking to the community leaders on the topic: “Gender and Climate Change: an Overview of the National Action Plan on. Gender and Climate Change for Nigeria”, Prof. Ekanem stated, “We summarized the extensive gender and climate change policy into practical terms so that it becomes relatable to our families. Our goal is to bridge the gap between a national document and its tangible impact on our communities. The leaders, both men and women, need to understand the importance of inclusive decision-making in addressing climate change issues.”

Prof. Ekpiken Ekanem, Professor of Counselling at UniCross provided a bridge between the gender and climate change policy

Dr. Emem Okon reiterated the significance of local leaders in driving change, urging them to develop and implement a local government climate change strategy or action plan. The emphasis included conducting community sensitization, collaborating with state and national bodies on climate change strategies, and actively working with women to respond effectively to climate change crises.

The advocacy meeting concluded with a resounding call for collaborative efforts at the local level to combat the adverse effects of climate change, recognizing the vital role of community leaders in spearheading change.

The meeting featured and concluded with participants disbanding into little groups where they deliberated and developed work plans and timelines to suit the realities of their local communities.