Despite women’s leadership in the grassroots climate movement and their particular vulnerability to climate change, gender is yet to be adequately integrated into climate plans, policies, and strategies. The vulnerable, especially girls and women often suffer the most when heat waves, droughts, severe storms or other extreme climate events strike. They face physical and mental health complications, bear the burden of traveling farther to collect scarce food, water, and firewood, and are often forced to stay behind in disaster-prone areas to care for the vulnerable.
In addition, girls and women have been prevented from full and fair participation in the global climate action movement, which also affects how, and to what extent, they can lead, make decisions, take action, and advance solutions to combat climate change (UN Foundation.org).
Circumstantial to this, the Head of the Centre for Climate Change and Gender Studies (3CGS) of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), Prof. Berchie Asiedu has opined that climate change, which is a continuous global challenge, must be tackled from the level of the vulnerable in society, especially among women and children. He disclosed the Centre is embarking on activities such as a “Climate Campaign tour” that seeks to create awareness of climate change among students in the Basic and Senior High Schools.
Prof. Berchie was speaking at the opening session of a 5-day short course on Climate Change and Economic Resilience (CCER), which was organized by the Centre from Monday, August 8 to Friday, August 12, 2022 at the Sunyani Campus.
Seasoned scholars from UENR and other institutions schooled participants on topics such as Climate Change and Gender, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation; and Climate Change Governance and Policy Framework in Ghana among others. The short course was actively attended by staff from both private and public institutions with an interest in climate change.
The short course was climaxed with a workshop organized by the Youth Climate Council Ghana in collaboration with 3CGS. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako delivered the keynote speech at the workshop, which was held on the theme “International Climate Policy: Why does it matter to the youth?” Participants were drawn from the UENR and YOUNGO who had the opportunity to listen to presentations from experts in climate change and subsequent panel discussions pertinent to climate change issues focusing on the contribution of the youth.