In commemoration of this year's International Women’s Day, ICEHD, in collaboration with Vision Spring Initiatives and Rose of Sharon Foundation, holds a CSOs Media Dialogue to discuss the theme of International Women’s Day "GENDER EQAULITY TODAY FOR A SUSTAINABLE TOMMOROW".
Women-Led NGOs, CSOs, government agencies and other stakeholders were present to dialogue on the interlink between gender equality and climate change, adaptation, mitigation, sexual and reproductive health of women and girls, and to review responses and strategies to build a better and more sustainable future for women and girls.
In attendance were the Honorable Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Health, represented by Mrs. Olugbade Taiwo Anike from the Reproductive Health Unit. In her speech, she stated the efforts and strides by the Lagos State Government towards achieving good health for all in Lagos. Here, she established the Ministry’s main focus, which she referred to as "TWO PILLARS RELATIONSHIP" (i.e., healthy environment and healthy people) and this is shown by the Ministry’s effort in building (9) health centers in some areas like Alimosho, Agege, Badagry and other local government areas for easy accessibility to health facilities by women and girls, most especially in the urban areas of Lagos. A program called "Hello Lagos," which centered on addressing young people's sexual health concern and sex education, has been created to raise more awareness. In addition to this, Mrs. Ngozi Nwosu Juba from Vision Spring Initiatives hammered on the need to include rights in sexual reproductive health to further enlighten women and girls on their rights to sexual and reproductive health.
The Honorable Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources was also represented by Mr. Bankole Michael from the climate change unit. Speaking on the efforts and strides by the Lagos State Government in tackling the impact of climate change, he said that the Ministry has organized a series of workshops between last year and now on climate change adaptation, like smart agriculture training, waste (plastics) recycling initiatives and other climate adaptation orientation programs to ensure that all women and girls are more aware and educated to rise above the climate change crisis and enhance a sustainable future for all.
Baliqees Salaudeen, a climate change activist, made it clear for us all to see the need for all women to stand up in their various areas and communities to occupy that space that has already been designed to focus on the sphere of government by saying, "If we don’t stand up for our environment, nobody will." By so doing, we can break the bias and achieve a sustainable tomorrow.
In connection to the views of the climate change activist, Dr Ndudi Bowei discussed extensively the need to take concrete, deliberate steps to break discriminative practices that feed bias and gender inequalities. As part of the steps, she established the need for us all to speak up by making our voices heard where we are, advocating for the implementation of climate change action plans made by the government, the implementation of gender-responsive policies, the introduction of empowerment programs, and training for women and girls on strategies for climate change mitigation and adaptability. This include government intervention in assisting women farmers by making climate finance available to them in the same way that it is available to men in order to generate mutual benefits rather than exacerbate patterns of inequity. Two Rose of Sharon Foundation widow farmers shared their practical experiences of the inequalities they encounter as women farmers and challenges of climate change they face that is hampering their produce and ability to sustain income. Participants were enjoined to make commit to deliberately address climate change crisis and reduce gender inequalities.
Together we can break the bias. HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY #BreakTheBias