TANZANIA Gender Networking Programme (TGNP) has stressed the need for coming up with alternative cooking energy to relieve women from the impacts of climate change including food insecurity.
TGNP Board Chairperson Ms Gemma Akilimali said here yesterday that women are more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change because when there is drought they are the ones who struggle to find water and food. She made the remarks at the opening of the Northern Zone Gender Festival which was graced by the Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner Mr Nurdin Babu at Kwasakwasa grounds in Same District.
The event organized by the TGNP brought together various women rights organizations, community based organizations and other grassroots groups to deliberate on how they can utilize available economic opportunities for their development.
“I am pleased to learn that this Gender Festival among other things will also focus on the impacts of climate change… this topic is crucial for the country’s development, since it has adverse effects on food security,” she said.
Ms Akilimali further said that, the discussion has come at the right time when the world including Tanzania is facing numerous challenges related to climate change. Themed, Economic Justice: “Making Resources Work for Maginalised People for Sustainable Livelihood” the festival drew more than 600 participants from various parts of the country. For his part, Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner Mr Nuridin Babu commended the government for its efforts to promote gender equality in the country.
“We have witnessed an increasing number of women in various decision making positions such as ministerial positions from 21.7 per cent in previous phase to 36 per cent in the sixth phase government … the government has also given opportunity to students who dropped out of school due to various reasons including pregnancies to proceed with their studies,” he said.
The government has also provided various economic opportunities to empower women and maginalised groups, he said. “Despite being more than 50 per cent of the country’s population women are yet to participate fully in the economic growth due to various challenges including gender based violence, traditions and customs, lack of education and ownership of resources such as land,” he said.
The RC commended the government for increasing agriculture budget and give priority to women and other marginalized groups. On her part, TGNP Executive Director Lilian Liundi said the gender festival is one of the organisation’s platforms in the building of collective power and open to women and human rights stakeholders who come together every year to share experiences, celebrate, evaluate and make plans to deal with the challenges they face.
She commended the government for its efforts to promote gender equality in the country including increasing the agriculture budget whose key actors are women.
“This year’s budget for agriculture has increased from 294bn/- in 2021/2022 to 751bn/- in 2022/2023… the budget has also identified groups which will be given priority as women, youth and others,” she said.