BY STEVE EPHRAEM
IN a bid to ensure that young people, particularly young women, know their role and take steps to influence an enabling environment for implementation of feminist and green economic alternatives that will improve their livelihoods and resilience to climate change induced shocks and stresses, a youth-led civil society organisation, Green Governance Zimbabwe Trust, facilitated a platform where climate justice can be discussed.
The organisation convened a Climate Justice Fair which was held on March 24, 2023 at Chipinge Recreation Park in Chipinge where representatives from youth-led organisations in Chipinge rural ward 3 and 5 and those in Chimanimani Ward 21 and 22 participated.
The organisations discussed on how best young people would know their role in climate justice.
In his opening remarks, the Director of Green Governance Zimbabwe Trust, Frank Mpahlo, challenged people to come out of the patriarchal stereotypes that contribute to the underrating of women in society.
“Our societies and institutions are designed in a manner that empowers men than women. Men can easily become economically empowered than women. That is why we are going to the grassroots to empower the girl so that she can know her rights and also become economically empowered,” he said.
During a panel discussion, representatives of youth-led organisations presented what they are doing and what they shall do to approach climate justice for women.
Refugee Coalition for Climate Action (RCCA) Team Leader, Gawaar Juich, gave three pillars of their work which are tree planting, information dissemination and clean-up campaigns.
“We train women on advocacy. Most of the climate action advocates are women. The women understand more on nutrition and child security so they give decisions that help to bring innovations on climate action.
Hilda Tendeukai, an advocate from Chimanimani, indicated that writing about climate action can empower the young women.
“There is power in writing and as a writer I believe that we the young people have a pivotal role to write on climate change. After Tropical Cyclone Idai that affected Chimanimani, most young women were abused in their bid to secure food, clothing and shelter. That is why there is a high rate of single mothers in our area. The men later vanished into thin air,” she said.
Green Institute co-director, Blessing Matasva indicated that women empowerment comes through development projects.
“We have partnered Forestry Commission of Zimbabwe to establish bee-keeping projects for women in Chirinda Forest. We have also established community gardens so that our women can have source of income,” he said.
After the workshop, the young women are expected to help their communities to (i) clearly understand women’s role in Climate Change Adaptation, (ii) showcase the work and leadership of young women in adapting to Climate Change, (iii) promote women-led opportunities and recommendations in the field of climate adaptation and (iv) raise awareness of the gender aspects and good practices of young women in climate action.