Policy makers from Africa attend gender-environment economic policy training
While changes in the environment affect everyone, they affect men and women differently. Women’s and girls’ traditional responsibilities as food growers, water and fuel gatherers, and caregivers connect them closely to available natural resources and the climate, making them more likely to be impacted by environmental hardships. Identifying and addressing women’s and men’s needs, as well as promoting women as decision makers, are critical elements to ensuring the success of environmental policy and programming. As such, both men and women have skills and knowledge that can help inform environmental and climate change policy and they are therefore also active agents of change in addressing environmental degradation.
In view of the importance of gender to the poverty-environment nexus, PEI Africa in collaboration with the UNDP-led Gender Economic Policy Management Initiative (GEPMI) and with support from UN Women organized a gender training in Naivasha, Kenya from 25 to 29 August 2014. The overall learning objective of the course was to equip participants with core capabilities in the use of gender-responsive economics for policy development and planning, specifically in the domains of environment, natural resources and climate change.
Thirty-two participants representing ministries of finance, planning, environment, agriculture, women and social affairs as well as UNDP, UN Environment and UN Women staff members from Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda participated in the training. The training has contributed to strengthening the participants’ capacity to connect gender and environment issues and has equipped them with arguments and tools to advance gender-environment mainstreaming in their work.
Exploring interlinkages between environment, gender and development
“The training has brought attention to the interlinkages between the environment, gender and development and that it is crucial to take these interlinkages into account when designing policies and indicators,” said Gisele Umuhumuza, a Research Officer with the Rwanda Environment Management Authority.
“The training has shown how gender and natural capital are crucial variables for economic development, it has demonstrated that the mainstreaming of both gender- and environment-related issues require a systematic approach,” continued Mudith Cheyo Buzenja, the Assistant Director of Poverty Eradication and Economic Empowerment (Poverty Research and Analysis) with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Tanzania. “But most importantly the training has provided me with the tools to further this work in my country.”