Women are adapting to climate change

01 Jul 2011

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Women are among the groups that will be affected the most in the face of climate change. In this context, the “Climate Change and Women Training Workshop” in which issues such as gender mainstreaming in the face of climate change, climate change adaptation and women and the vulnerabilities of women farmers were addressed was held on 16-17 June 2011 in Ankara.

New Horizons - Approximately 60 experts from public institutions such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and its provincial directorates, State Planning Organization, Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Environment and Forestry and the General Directorate of Women’s Status as well as from universities and non-governmental organizations such as Turkish Women’s Union and Women’s Act participated to the training workshop organized in the context of the United Nations Joint Programme on “Enhancing the Capacity of Turkey to Adapt to Climate Change”.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Democratic Governance Programme Manager Dr. Leyla Şen who highlighted the importance of ensuring gender equality stressed that women’s rights are human rights and explained United Nation’s global efforts in this context.

United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Climate Change Adaptation Expert Dr. Nuran Talu on the other hand explained the strong link between gender mainstreaming, environment and climate change.

Talu who stated that the solution of environmental problems lie within human-nature relations stressed that the human component in this relation can only be ensured through gender equality.

Officials participating from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs General Directorate of Organization and Support Department of Women Farmers Pervin Karahocagil (Head of Department) and Nimet Kaleli (Head of Division) addressed the roles of women in agriculture and shared the initiatives and the experiences of the Ministry for empowering the status of women in this context.

Shared experiences about climate change discussed

Following the experiences of Turkey, Ilaria Sisto from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Italy shared the experiences of countries such as India, China and Bangladesh and stated explained the vulnerabilities of women affected by natural disasters induced by climate change. Finally Gökçe Yörükoğlu from the Un Joint Programme provided examples of successful projects focusing on climate change and gender mainstreaming implemented at the local level in the Seyhan River Basin.

During the training meeting in which group work were also conducted issues such as the needs of women for climate change adaptation, the challenges and barriers they face, current and potential methods and tools used to overcome these challenges and project ideas were discussed.

During these discussions; the need for training and awareness raising, identifying target groups according to age groups, the importance of women organizations, inclusion of women into decision-making mechanisms and spreading social securities were the issues that received more focus.

Through this training workshop the relation between climate change and women were put forth in a stronger way and project ideas and potential future partnerships were identifying. More importantly, the outcomes of these group works will constitute the basis of training programmes that will be prepared.