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New project to bolster African women for leadership in climate change

Women's Tabloid News Desk
Women's Tabloid News Desk

As part of a program to enhance gender equity in climate change adaptation for African smallholder farmers, applications for a new fellowship are now open to African women professionals who work at the intersection of gender, climate change, and agrifood systems.

The goal of the career development fellowship Accelerating African Women’s Leadership in Climate Action is to raise the proportion of African women leading climate action and to promote the creation of climate solutions that cater to the requirements of smallholders, both male and female.

As of 2020, women held only 15% of the 712 ministerial positions in the environmental sector, indicating their continued underrepresentation in high-level decision-making in environmental policy domains. At the same time, women smallholders are often more vulnerable to climate change and have less options available for adaptation due to gender disparities in access to resources, opportunities, and decision-making authority at the farm level.

“Yawning gender gaps throughout African agrifood systems are compounded by climate change, and yet women are also powerful, under-utilised agents of change,” said Dr. Susan Kaaria, director of AWARD.

“We’re excited about the potential for this fellowship to grow a pool of African women climate change professionals, who can become effective leaders and forces for change, developing innovations for women smallholders to better cope with climate change.”

Manuela Di Mauro and Bruce Currie-Alder, CLARE co-leads from FCDO and IDRC, said: “By investing in AWARD’s new fellowship, CLARE is building on lessons from years of previous programming supporting climate change adaptation. AWARD will play a critical role in ensuring that more African women are championing climate leadership and innovation.”

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