Women and climate change at the People’s Space in Durban

Sat, 2011-12-03 22:32
Submitted by mofagio

At the People’s space in Durban, hosted by the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, where the alternative conference on climate change takes place, 500 activist women have gathered together under a tent. Rural women have converged to Durban from the Western, Eastern, and Northern Cape, from Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Namibia, and Botswana to participate to a two-day conference organized for women by NGOs and unions at the People’s space. Here, women have worked in groups to discuss the impacts of climate change in their communities, and to share ideas for possible solutions. One key message is the unity of rural women across the larger South African region, and the unity with other rural women that were also represented in small number from India, Ecuador, Sierra Leone and Senegal. While African women will be the most affected by an increase of Africa’s warming trend, the governments converged at the Conference of Parties hosted in the gated space of the ICC in downtown Durban have excluded rural women’s participations from the discussion and decision making process on climate change.
Poverty, sickness and serious implications for agriculture due to increasing and unpredicted floods and severe climate conditions are the main consequences of climate change. Women are the most vulnerable population being affected by climate change in Africa, because of their financial reliance on agricultural work. However, they feel that their knowledge and capacity to build resilience have been entirely ignored by policy-makers in Durban and in previous conferences.
Read more on Women’s Manifesto on Climate Change (2007) here: http://www.wen.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/manifesto.pdf (or Click on the link below)

Recordings of the discussion during the working group of rural women from the Eastern Cape
manifesto.pdf101.01 KB