Climate and Sustainable Development Network of Nigeria (CSDevNet) and Solidaridad West Africa, have highlighted the need to build the resilience of rural women in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. This is made known at a joint-activity to mark the United Nations International Day for Rural Women in Atoda/Ofolijinwa communities in Ofu Local Government area of Kogi State.
As part of Solidaridad ongoing projects across six States in Nigeria, Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) was launched amongst Women, Farmers and Youth groups in the Communities. This is to help build the capacity of the rural women, ant to amplify their voice.
A Young Digital Activist, Abu Stephen who represented CSDevNet/PACJA emphasised and appreciated the role of women in the fight against Climate Change and COVID-19. It is obvious that women, particularly rural women can easily adopt low-carbon technologies and renewable energy such as the use of biogas and clean stoves. Women can easily spread information about climate change, and as well lead climate action. These and many more are the roles been played by women in ensuring sustainability.
Stephen also noted that at the wake of COVID-19, women were at the front line of the fight, we saw that in many parts of the world, when there was shortage of nose mask and hand sanitizer to tackle the outbreak, many women went into action and begin to mass produce and distribute.
In terms of agriculture and food security, rural women has always been in the forefront, thereby making it an ideal thing to build the rural women resilience to climate change and COVID-19. He urged rural women to continue to work hard and contribute their quota to human development, to ensure sustainability in what they do, and come together to allow their voice to be heard.
Mr. Shadrach Ogalla, Solidaridad Community Facilitator who spoke on behalf of his Organization did appreciate and encouraged the women for the contribution in building the Nation, and that their roles in ensuring food security is immeasurable He also promised that Solidaridad will continue to work with farmers and rural women to improve their standard of living. He then encouraged them to embrace the VSLA program rolled out by Solidaridad.
Amongst the women who spoke, Mrs Omata Abigail appreciated CSDevNet, PACJA and Solidaridad West Africa, Nigeria for the gesture, and called upon the Government to emulate and replicate this kind of project that is targeted towards ensuring a better life for the rural women.
Mrs Odoma Eunice also called upon the government to understand the plight of the rural women, to remember them in both Agricultural and Developmental programs.
Women account for a substantial proportion of the agricultural labour force, including informal work, and perform the bulk of unpaid care and domestic work within families and households in rural areas. They make significant contributions to agricultural production, food security and nutrition, land and natural resource management, and building climate resilience.
The impacts of climate change, including on access to productive and natural resources, amplify existing gender inequalities in rural areas. Climate change affects women’s and men’s assets and well-being differently in terms of agricultural production, food security, health, water and energy resources, climate-induced migration and conflict, and climate-related natural disasters.
Rural women represent the backbone of many communities, but they continue to face obstacles that prevent them from realizing their potential. The devastating impacts of climate change add to their hardship,’ says the United Nations Secretary–General António Guterres.