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Environmental policies must take into account rural women’s living conditions

23.02.2017 / Created by Ffeuromed

The 22nd Conference of the Parties to the Convention of the United Nations about Climate Change (COP 22) was held in Marrakech, Morocco, from 7 to 18 November 2016. At the summit, different issues about climate change were on the agenda, particularly, climate justice. The FLDF (Fédération des ligues des droits des femmes, Federation of Leagues of Women’s Rights) – Marrakech section, took the opportunity to increase the visibility of the interaction between women and climate change, prerequisite to improve women’s conditions in Marrakech-Safi region.

The FLDF created in 2015 a local cluster of actors of gender equality actors© in Marrakech-Safi region. This local cluster includes the regional authorities, the university, the associations and the media on issues related to violence against women. Through this experience, the FLDF has also been able to mobilize all parties involved in climate issues.

Indeed, the barriers to fair access between women and men to natural resources make women’s living conditions more difficult and they increase the inequalities and discriminations based on gender. This highlights the importance of not considering climate changes only as a scientific phenomenon but also as a social, economic and political phenomenon.

In order to raise the policy-makers'awareness on the impact of global warming on the living conditions of young women in rural areas, and the need to apply gender-sensitive climate policies, the FLDF has developed an advocacy initiative before, during, and after the COP22.

The main activities of the FLDF's initiative are:

1. Organising an awareness « caravan » on 6 of November 2016 in Bouzergoune, a village which is affected, particularly the young women, by global warming. A report was produced in order to identify the close relationship between the women from this village and the consequences of climate change. In addition to different art workshops addressed to children, the ‘caravan’ has been an opportunity to discuss the consequences of climate change with the inhabitants from the village.

2. At the COP22, youngers from l’Espace pour l’Avenir (room for the future) -members of the FLDF- organized awareness-raising activities about the negative consequences of global warming on women; the FLDF took part in several radio programs and contributed to the foundation of the Mediterranean and African Coalition of Women facing climate challenges (Medafrica gender and climate) which claims for the integration of the gender approach in environmental policies, and women’s equal access to natural resources.

The FLDF also took the opportunity to display handicrafts and local products from the Réseau femmes solidaires (Women in Solidarity Network). The Moroccan Minister of Employment went to visit that stand, which made possible to address the obstacles faced by women’s cooperatives to market their products, but also to show the need of policy measures to encourage Moroccan women’s participation in the economy.

Finally, the FLDF Marrakech presented its experience in the field of ecological income-generating activities, as well as a documentary about the cooperative Isafarne in order to inform about women who produce spices and aromatic plants in Amezmiz.

3. Following the awareness caravan, there was a meeting with the President of Rahala municipality on 22nd December 2016, in order to present the results of FLDF’s report.

4. Organising a press conference with the participation of different actors from the civil society. It highlighted the harmful effects of climate change in rural areas, particularly the lack of water, and the situation of young girls victims of school dropouts and of early marriage, through the projection of the documentary « Le chemin de l’eau » (the road to water).

Therefore, the FLDF’s initiative has achieved the following objectives:

  • Promoting the importance of mainstreaming gender in the municipal action programme (PAC) and the region's development plan (PDR) among the local policy-makers.
  • Rainsing the awareness of the local and national media on the negative consequences of global warming on Moroccan women’s situation.
  • Reinforcing the local cluster of gender equality actors from Marrakech-Safi as a pilot experience in coordinating advocacy efforts at national level.
  • Motivating the feminist associations to address issues related to gender and climate change.
  • Making the general public aware of the relationship between ecological issues and gender equality in rural municipalities (douars).

In the coming months, the FLDF will keep in touch with the President of Rahala municipality and the association of the village of Bouzergoune in order to follow up the measures which will be implemented to meet the expectations of the inhabitants of the village.

To watch ‘Le chemin de l’eau’ documentary, which shows the negative effects of climate change (water scarcity; dry soil conditions…) on the lives of rural women, click on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiKrTU8QnNg.

For more information about the actions of the Euro-Mediterranean Women’s Foundation related to the COP 22 : https://www.euromedwomen.foundation/pg/fr/news/view/6289/la-fondation-a-la-cop22-promouvoir-lacces-equitable-aux-ressources-et-la-prise-en-compte-des-voix-des-femmes-aux-negociations-sur-le-climat.

Photo album on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.632237633652038.1073741836.517052178503918&type=1&l=9c41955b93 

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