Under the umbrella of Tanzanian Women Parliamentarian Group (TWPG), a number of MPs asserted that there is need for gender mainstreaming in climate change adaptation. The aim is to enhance public awareness and knowledge on the critical role of gender in implementing climate change actions.
“Climate change adversely affects all people but women are more at risk for they are involved in effects of climate change at a day to day level,” said Urambo MP, Margret Sitta. Sitta who is the chairperson of TWPG made that statement following a two days awareness creation seminar for MPs.
She cited drought impact where women are in intensely involved in agriculture and the search for water, thus they feel the pinch of climate change more acutely than other members of society. There is need to have plans and strategies at national and regional or district levels, and providing a platform to kick-start the process of revising the Tanzania Gender and Climate Change Action Plan.
The group is now planning to identify gender and climate change champions among MPs to advocate sharper mainstreaming of gender and climate change in the national and district development planning and budgeting process. The champions will work to further generate evidence to support engagement with MPs to increase understanding on climate change and its impact in Tanzania.
Special Seats MP Fatma Toufique (CCM) said at the same event that climate change is currently the greatest challenge facing humanity across the world. Impacts in Tanzania include among others higher temperatures, increase in frequency and magnitude of droughts and floods, as well as rising sea levels.
“Women are disproportionately vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters and climate change when their rights and socio-economic status are not equal to those of men,” she said.
The World Bank estimates that the gender productivity gap in terms of aggregate cost per annum in Africa is $ 105 million in Tanzania, $ 100 million in Malawi and $ 67 million in Uganda, the legislator noted.
She cited further data affirming that the Bank of America notes that achieving women’s equality could boost global GDP by up to 13 percent. It is therefore critical to incorporate gender considerations into national policies, programmes and plans for adaptation and mitigation measures, she emphasized.
Shakwaanande Natai, the national coordinator for the Tanzania National Smart Agriculture Alliance (TCAA) argued that despite remarkable progress Tanzania has made in terms of developing gender sensitive policies, their implementation is still a challenge, where gender and climate change adaptation and mitigation actions constitutes a special challenge, she added.