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Gendering the restoration of Lake Chad region

 

The four gender sensitive approaches needed for women and girls to play a center role in ecosystem restoration (Lake Chad Region) are access resource, education, energy and land.


                                                Photo credit: NRC

Gendering the restoration of Lake Chad region: An eco-feminist view

by Oladosu Adenike

How will Lake Chad look like in 10 years or by 2050 if we don’t act now? This Lake has supported more than 30 million people, now it is a shadow of itself. Climate change is affecting or increase the vulnerability of our population to it impacts. And this is why we need to act now. The brunt of this crisis is bear by women and girl because two-thirds of those people displaced by the climate crisis in the Lake Chad region are female. One of the reasons why women are hit the hardest is lack of access to own a land. This is a biggest threat that makes our livelihoods fragile and prune to displacement.

Averagely, it takes 20 hours in a week for women and to gather biomass and drinking water. Due to energy poverty, women have to trek distant and in the process they can be kidnap, rape or violated in different kind of ways and in the process the girl child might drop out of school because of the time used in going to get water and hawk for the family for survival. And that is why in the Sahel region we have more than 20 million child-brides and this climate change crises have made girls to be survival strategy and this also dis-empower them – giving them no access to education.

This is why climate justice is a powerful weapon against gender equality at the same time; gender equality is a weapon against climate change because the time constraint incurred due to lack of access to land, energy, education and resource are affecting environmental protection and leading to further degradation of our environment. This decade of ecosystem restoration, have to identify the fact that women have to be given the right to own a land because, time constraints such as; energy poverty, resource poverty, land poverty and lack of education are leaving women  and girls behind on issues that matter. By providing these forms of security (land, resource, energy and education), it act as an empowerment to women and girls which could help achieve our sustainable development goals thereby enabling women to contribute to ecosystem restoration.

Oladosu Adenike ([email protected]) is an ecofeminist and an advocate for the restoration of Lake Chad 


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