“EMBRACING ART & SCIENCE TO CREATE TOMORROW’S SUSTAINABILITY CHAMPIONS”

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Women will save the world! Unleashing the power of Women and Girls for environmental solutions

Prepare yourself for an eye-opening blog that emphasises the significance of how empowering women will help with environmental protection and limiting global warming to 2 degrees celsius. Women’s empowerment is a major topic that has circulated the globe widely over the past few years, and perhaps more recently in Africa. Women empowerment will contribute to environmental sustainability through giving women opportunities such as education, participation in decision making, training in agriculture, access to resources, environmental awareness campaigns, family planning and mentorships. This will not only benefit them but  also be of benefit to the world at large.

EMPOWERING WOMEN IS A REASON FOR THE DECREASE IN GLOBAL WARMING.

Empowering women and girls in developing countries like Uganda has been ranked 2nd among 76 solutions for reducing global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, according to a new report by the climate research organisation Project Drawdown. This may come as a shock to you, but it’s a fact, and this is because women tend to have a positive impact on climate change through their participation in agriculture. Find the list of the other 75 solutions in the link at the end of the blog.

1/ WOMEN AS THE FOREHAND OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD PRODUCTION.

In developing countries such as Uganda, women account for 70% of the agricultural labour force although women in many regions face many issues when trying to access crucial resources for agricultural production, such as land, credit, technology, inputs, and training because of  unequal property rights and inheritance laws that prevent women from owning or controlling land, which is a critical asset for farming, Limited access to education and training opportunities hinders women’s ability to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge for modern agricultural practices, Unequal Access to Financial Services, Gender Bias in Extension Services and Support, to mention but a few.  

Therefore, if women are provided with the necessary resources they will be able to promote environmental sustainability, this is because women farmers usually practise organic farming methods, agroforestry, and crop rotation, which can improve soil health, reduce the use of harmful chemicals, and conserve biodiversity.

2/ WOMEN AS DETERMINERS OF RESOURCES

Women, especially in underdeveloped countries, have been undermined and not given the chance to be able to determine when they can get married, when they can produce, or how many children they can have. According to the national strategy to end child marriage and teenage pregnancy 2022/2023 – 2026/2027, 34% of girls are married before the age of 18. On a global scale, Uganda is ranked 16th among 25 countries with the highest rates of child marriage and OVER 32,000 teenage pregnancies recorded per month. Teenage pregnancy is responsible for nearly ONE-FIFTH of the annual births in Uganda. 

Therefore stopping early marriages, early pregnancies, access to family planning services and the ability to space pregnancies can lead to a decline in the overall population growth rate. Slower population growth means reduced pressure on natural resources, including land, water, and energy, as well as a lower overall demand for goods and services, which can help in preserving the environment and smaller family sizes generally result in lower carbon footprints per capita. 

A smaller population means fewer resources consumed, less waste generated, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. This can play a role in mitigating climate change impacts.

3/ WOMEN AS THE GUARDIAN ANGELS IN OUR COMMUNITIES.

Women are the guardians of our precious natural resources. From managing water sources and fuel to producing 60 to 80 percent of food in developing nations. The large production of food that women have been able to achieve has helped reduce the cases of food-related malnutrition in developing countries and also helped reduce global warming. Over 60% of women in Uganda are actively involved in the collection and processing of non-timber forest products, preserving biodiversity while ensuring sustainable livelihoods.

As mentioned, women are major contributors to food production and  collection of non-timber forest products in developing countries. They often employ sustainable agricultural practices, such as organic farming, agroforestry, and crop diversification, which help conserve soil health, biodiversity, and water resources, women’s role in the collection and processing of non-timber forest products such as nuts, seed, fruits, medical plants etc  has helped raise awareness about the importance of conserving forests and their sustainable harvesting practices have also contributed to the preservation of forest ecosystems, protecting biodiversity and mitigating deforestation.

Empowering and  involving more women in food production, sustainable agriculture, and harvesting of non-timber forest products showcases their importance as environmental guardians. Their actions will and has contributed to biodiversity preservation, soil health, and forest conservation, making a significant impact on sustainability efforts and a greener future for our planet.

WHAT PRACTISES CAN WOMEN BE TAUGHT IN ORDER TO PROMOTE ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY?

Teaching women new skills that they can apply in their daily practices can help the environment in several ways. Here are some examples of skills that, when taught to women, can contribute to environmental conservation and sustainability: Teaching women about energy-saving practices and renewable energy options can lead to reduced energy consumption and lower greenhouse gas emissions, providing women with knowledge about waste reduction, recycling, and composting can contribute to minimising the environmental impact of waste and reducing landfill emissions, educating women about sustainable cooking methods, energy-efficient appliances, and green cleaning practices can lead to reduced energy and water consumption in households, teaching women about environmental issues and advocacy strategies can empower them to become environmental ambassadors within their communities and advocate for sustainable practices and policies.

In addition, embracing women as a powerful part of our world has and will have quite an impact on all sectors of the world, including development, improvement in social welfare, improving the health sector, improving agriculture and food production, and most importantly, it will have a great impact on climate stability. Therefore, let’s continue empowering  young girls and women instead of fighting against their equality with men because this shouldn’t be a competition. Instead, we should work together to protect our environment and the world.

The link to the other 75 solutions for reducing global warming: https://www.drawdown.org/solutions/table-of-solutions

If you’d like to get in touch with Michelle please email her:

helper@kyotofoundation.com

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