The Kebetkache Women’s Development and Resource Centre (KWDRC) organised the first Women's Climate Assembly in Port Harcourt in Rivers state. The event aimed to promote and unite African women on gender and climate action. It builds on findings from a study on ‘Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation’, financed by an ACT consortium grant.
A 2021 report from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) highlighted the unique vulnerability of African women to climate crises due to their frontline exposure, as well as the burdens they face, particularly in contexts of poverty and gender inequality.
In response to this challenge, Kebetkache partnered with WoMin African Alliance to organise the assembly. The event not only aimed to bring women's perspectives to the forefront but also to amplify their voices, shed light on the gendered impacts of the climate crises, and propose alternative development approaches.
The success of the first assembly led to the organisation of a second assembly held in Lagos in September. Women from over 11 countries were convened to create a pan-African position on the climate catastrophe and African climate justice.
The conference steering committee drafted and presented a collective declaration of demands. KWDRC organised a webinar where women from the Niger Delta region discussed the loss of livelihoods caused by the climate crisis and the activities of oil exploration in their areas. They shared various scenarios and case studies that highlighted the exclusion and marginalisation of women in the design and implementation of climate change policies.
KWDRC plays a crucial role in addressing climate change by increasing women's knowledge, strengthening their efforts, and proposing development alternatives that are women centred. Their goal is to put forward alternatives that enable people to lead dignified lives with better incomes and access to public services, adapt to a rapidly warming climate, and protect nature while upholding its right to exist in a reciprocal relationship with humans.
“The strength of women climate assemblies is in their commitment to leaving no one behind. It’s about ensuring that the most vulnerable are not only part of the conversation but also the solution."
Josiane Yebi Boyo, participant, Côte d'Ivoire
“We are determined to send a strong message to governments across West and Central Africa, united in our call for climate justice, reparations and development alternatives.”
Emem Okon, Executive Director, Kebetkache Women’s Development and Resource Centre