November 2, 2021 – The Green Global Growth Institute (GGGI) Ethiopia organized a daylong gender policy dialogue workshop at Haile Resort, Adama town of the Oromia region. A total of 54 (18 Female, 36 Male) participants representing Ministries, the National Women Forum, and development partners attended the workshop, which convened in association with the Women Affairs Directorate of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
The overriding objective of the workshop, organized under the leading theme “Moving from Political Ambition to Action,” was to bring on board key stakeholders for policy dialogue on the need for and adoption of gender responsive and climate smart national women policy. The workshop also aimed to discover ways to create gender-transformative action on the ground by accessing the latest knowledge and providing hands-on guidance and advice on opportunities.
Ms. Medhin Fisseha, NAP GCF Readiness Project Lead with GGGI Ethiopia, made introductory remarks and unveiled the program’s highlights which focused on four mutually reinforcing sessions including thematic presentations, questions and feedback from stakeholders on gender policy briefs, innovative games for creating awareness and sensitizing the stakeholders on gender responsive climate change programming, and adoption of the recommendations.
The workshop was officially opened by welcoming remarks from Dr. Gemedo Dalle, Country Representative of GGGI. In his opening remarks, he emphasized the fact that climate change has unabatedly continued to pose an overwhelming challenge in Ethiopia and other developing countries at large, leaving women and other vulnerable groups most affected.
He noted that women are more susceptible and disproportionately affected by the debilitating impacts of climate change, as their livelihoods heavily hinge on natural resources, which are under depletion. Also, women are socially and economically disenfranchised to cope with the adverse impacts of climate change.
Dr. Gemedo shared that women’s voices are central in climate change adaptive and gender responsive strategies, and GGGI will remain committed to unwaveringly support Ethiopia’s Climate Resilience Green Economy (CRGE) gender responsive actions. Dr. Gemedo concluded his remarks reiterating that climate programs, initiatives, and actions should be geared towards ensuring the empowerment and proactive engagement of women as key actors, beneficiaries, and leaders.
Ms. Tsige Taddele, Advisor to the State Minister, Ministry of Women and Social Affairs (MoWSA), praised the initiative taken by GGGI Ethiopia to help organize such an important policy dialogue on integrating gender and climate change perspective into national policy. She emphasized that any development endeavor will become a futile attempt unless gender dimensions are adequately addressed and mainstreamed across key development goals, strategies, and action plans.
Ms. Tsige expressed her conviction that the newly structured Ministry will move the baton of revising the national policy on women forward through identifying gaps on the federal, regional and world levels to achieve gender equality and empowerment of women across the country.
Ms. Abeba Mecha, Director of Gender Affairs Directorate, shared the experiences of the Women Forum of EPA and briefly highlighted the Forum’s operational modalities and gender response initiatives. Subsequently, Ms. Fatuma Seid, Chair of the National Women Forum (NWF), described the rationale behind the establishment of the NWF in terms of effectively leveraging resources, bringing change collaboratively, and providing adaptive solutions for natural disasters’ mitigating efforts.
During the workshop, renowned scholars and researchers presented papers and shared their perspectives showcasing the causal linkages between gender and climate change. Presentation topics include: Mainstreaming Gender; Gender Equality in Development; Gender, Social Inclusion, and the Environment: An Overview of Lessons learned and directions; and Capacity Development for Gender Responsive Approaches in Ethiopia.
The policy brief on the need for the integration of gender and climate change perspective into existing national policy was prepared prior to the workshop and its recommendations were presented by Mr. Beshir Salih, Senior Expert from MoWSA. He noted that integrating gender and climate change perspectives into the revised national policy will play a significant role in the battle against the adverse effects of climate change. MoWSA is entrusted with the lofty tasks of formulating strategies and actions to address the structural barriers, creating awareness on the integration of gender and climate, and empowerment of women and girls. MoWSA nominated GGGI to be part of the policy revision committee for addressing the recommendations of the policy brief.
In his concluding remarks, Dr. Gemedo strongly urged the participants to attach a substantive weight to the issues already discussed, and reaffirmed GGGI’s commitment to provide support to the team of experts who will dedicate their knowledge and expertise to finalize and transform the revised Policy Note into a tangible reality.
As follow-up action steps, participants of the workshop reached a consensus and adopted key policy recommendations including the formulation of a Gender and Social inclusion Policy, Integration of Gender and Climate Change into the Revised National Women Policy, as well as establishment of Gender and Climate Budgeting and Gender Readiness Fund.
It was also agreed that MoWSA adopt a Gender policy or the Women and Social policy, and thus, ensure mainstreaming of gender issues in public sectors. MoWSA accepted the inputs and expressed its willingness to adopt the recommendations and proposed that GGGI become a member in the taskforce in realizing these strategies.