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Wednesday, 04 March 2020 19:13

Women bear the burden of climate change

Written by  Fostina Mkandawire
Women from Ngwanda Community pose for a photo Women from Ngwanda Community pose for a photo


Lilongwe, March 4, 2020:Chairperson for Bunda Gender Activists, Jennifer Lipenga said women bear the greater burden of climate change especially in situations of poverty because of social norms and beliefs.

Speaking during a tree planting exercise in Ngwanda Community in Nkhoma on Tuesday, she said Climate Change affects all human beings in the world, however the impacts are experienced differently by men and women.'

“Women depend on natural resources to sustain a living and these resources are threatened by climate change. Excessively cutting down trees and when disaster occurs women lose the only means available for them to sustain their lives," Lipenga observed.

She added, "More so because women lack access to and control over resources due to power and gender relations."

According to the 2019 Floods Post Disaster Needs Assessment Report in March 2019 Malawi experienced heavy rains that had a major impact on crops such as maize, pulses, sorghum and rice, all of which are vital food crops.

The report indicated that Women were affected the most by these floods because they produce 80 per cent of household food and are engaged in subsistence farming. 

Lipenga said due to women's role assigned to them by society, when climate change occurs their work load increases as they have to walk long distances to fetch water and other resources that become scarce as a result of climate change.

She said it was because of that background, that gender mainstreaming is important in all climate justice initiatives.

Bunda Gender Activists Club is a platform for students to engage in activism and advocate for gender justice in their immediate environment and the larger public sphere. The club is led by Bunda Gender and development undergraduate club.

Bunda Environmental club is an environmental activism and advocacy club that aims at raising awareness on various environmental issues and how they impact our livelihood.

The two clubs partnered to plant 500+ tress in Ngwanda community in Mkhoma and engage in a dialogue with women in the area on the gender and climate justice.