♦Between the lines: “Women are believed to be more caring therefore they can be great managers of the environment,” Sovereign Hasahya, female youth leader for Butaleja district.
Climate change and traditional agricultural activities has led to environmental degradation until the occurrence of environmental disasters such as ecological damages, flooding, landslides, soil erosion and the spread of diseases.
Women being the main actors in the agricultural industry have been looked upon as the majority victims of disasters brought about by climate change and other environmental conflicts caused by human factors.
Environmentalists across the world believe women are adaptable to changes in the environment, therefore involving them in environmental protection, communication would be a great ideal especially in communities that caused the environmental conflicts.
Sovereign Hasahya, the female youth leader for Butaleja district who also doubles as a member of the National Youth Council says women in rural areas interact more with the environment something that makes them great mediators for environmental conflict resolution, awareness for a sustainàble environmental management.
“Women have a special and close relationship with the environment, they frequently use natural resources like water, land, forests, fuel to mention but a few in rural areas. At most times, men find when women have already cooked food, collected water and firewood. Therefore, women can be used as great agents to champion environmental conservation and promotion,” says Hasahya.
In developing countries, women make up to 45 percent of the agricultural labour force, raging from 20percent in Latin America, to up to 60 percent in parts of Africa and Asia.
These are engaged in labour force activities such as food system, farming and cultivation, harvesting and collection, most of which harm the environment.
Agricultural practices such as clearing of bushes for cultivation, bush burning, wetland encroachment, deforestation, for charcoal, sand mining are other activities that affect the environment.
Hasahya however urges women to conserve the environment through engaging in agricultural activities that are environmental friendly.
“Instead of cutting down trees to be used for firewood and charcoal we can opt to using briquettes. I encourage women to also adopt using paper bags instead of polythene bags,proper cleaning of water sources and extra.” she said.
“Women are believed to be more caring therefore they can be great managers of the environment,” she added.
A study by the United Nations Environmental Protection (UNEP) shows that rural women play a leading role as ecosystem managers an essential contribution for conserving biodiversity.
The study further highlights lack of public services such as education, limited resources, gender based violence, less opportunities, exclusion from decision making processes such as budget allocations and conservation initiatives as some of the significant challenges faced with rural women in attempts to conserve the environment.
UNEP calls for Supporting and empowering rural women and girls to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and developing their capacities and resilience to respond to climate change a key to sustainable development.
Another study by Donna Asteria, (2018) on the role of women as environmental activists in resolving environmental conflicts for sustainability of the country, recommends that resolving environmental conflicts needed citizens role in activities of environmental communication, especially participation of women.
Courtesy: Hasahya Sovereign,Female youth leader for Butaleja district,member of National Youth Council.firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial: This article is published as part of our CSR on gender empowerment a head of the International Wimen’s Day, 2021 celebrated on 8th March every year. #IWD2021. The topic #womeninenvironment was chosen to celebrate the role of Ugandan women environmental activists as we as advocating for women and girls participation in environmental conservation, communication and climate change as opposed to oceans of myths which presents men as the champions of climate change at the expense of women.
The topic was chosen inline with the theme of the #IWD2021 which states; “Choose To Challenge” Parrots UG provides a medium to women and girls this women’s day to raise their voices in challenging the status quo, end gender inequalities and bring them at the forefronts of environmental protection and community.
We believe that: “From challenge comes change, so let’s all
Happy Women’s Day.