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FAO shares strategies for women's resilience to climate change

The FAO Subregional Office for West Africa, in collaboration with country offices, organized a panel to share adaptation strategies to improve womens resilience to climate change

Around 100 guests from all categories actively participated in the exchanges, which proposed concrete actions to address climate change in order to optimise women's contribution in the agriculture sector, calling on all stakeholders to continue their commitment to gender equality and women's empowerment, particularly in the context of women's participation and leadership in climate negotiations.

Despite the key roles that rural women play in food systems, agro biodiversity conservation, natural resource management, production etc., "they are particularly affected by the impacts of climate change due to limited access to and control over key resources for adaptation and limited participation in decision-making processes. Similarly, they do not have equal access to the productive resources needed for agricultural livelihoods and are often the last to eat when food is scarce," said Dr Yacine Ndeye N'Dour, climate change expert at the FAO Country Office in Senegal, one of the panelists at the meeting.

The second panelist, Madeleine Sarr, head of the Climate Change Division at the Directorate of the Environment and Classified Establishments of Senegal, noted that "women are more vulnerable than men to the effects of climate change, as they constitute the majority of the world's poor and are more dependent on natural resources threatened by climate change.” 

The panel discussion emphasised that promoting gender equality in the context of climate change and disaster risk reduction is one of the greatest global challenges of the 21st century. In this regard, FAO is on the right track as indicated by the Sub-regional Coordinator for West Africa and FAO Representative in Senegal, Dr Gouantoueu Robert Guéi "FAO is supporting countries and strategic partners to make the transition to climate-smart agriculture in a gender-sensitive manner, through the adoption of an integrated approach that simultaneously addresses various structural gender issues.  FAO also supports the integration of gender issues into climate change policies in the agricultural sectors, in particular in the implementation of nationally determined contributions, national adaptation plans and national agricultural investment plans.”

Through this panel, FAO in West Africa shared its achievements in enabling women to engage in climate change action by building their resilience while calling for more action to increase women's participation in leadership roles.