Gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change
Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud participates in the Ministerial Roundtable for the Commission on the Status of Women on the theme “Achieving gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies, and programmes: advancing gender equality through holistic and integrated actions from global to local.” Minister Persaud said –
“The conversations and actions around gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls have been ceaseless, both nationally and globally. The disproportionate impact of climate change on women and girls has created the impetus to educate and integrally involve them as leaders and agents of change in climate action and disaster risk reduction in Guyana.
Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy 2030, which seeks to transform the economy while combating climate change, promotes the inclusion of women and vulnerable groups in key economic sectors.
Since the first phase of the Strategy’s launch in 2009, women have benefitted significantly, including through micro, small enterprise and entrepreneurial projects and job opportunities. 62% of the Low Carbon cash grants were awarded to women, who were trained in climate smart agriculture, sustainable forestry, photography and business development.
Guyana has the second highest percentage of forest cover on earth which represents 85% of our territory. By protecting our forest and meeting some of the most urgent climate challenges the world faces, we secured climate financing for an Amerindian Development Fund which benefitted 180 communities and strengthened village economies, providing hundreds of jobs for indigenous women.
Climate financing is currently bridging the ICT divide for hinterland women and girls with the provision of laptops and the creation of ICT hubs powered by solar systems, transforming the way in which they access government and social services.
Guyanese women are leading in climate action and advocacy and have pioneered solutions to protect our valuable ecosystem. The Guyana Marine Conservation Society, an NGO, has led on capacity building for female marine scientists and young women from hinterland communities, training them to pilot drones to monitor resources that are key to preserving the ecosystem of mangroves as barriers to rising sea levels.
Cognizant that women dominate in some agricultural subsectors, the strengthening of women’s participation in agricultural production chains as well as their education in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies is high on Guyana’s agenda, as our agricultural sector remains the basis of our food security.
Women in rural and remote communities also have economic opportunities in Guyana’s rapidly expanding low carbon eco-tourism sector.
Our global achievement of gender equality in the context of climate change is heavily reliant on each country’s commitment and genuine desire to mitigate the devastating impact of climate change globally.”