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Categories: Climate Cable

Stakeholders seek inclusion of women with disabilities in climate change policies

BY Yemi Michael

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Stakeholders in the health, gender and environment sectors have advocated for the inclusion of women and girls with disabilities in climate change policies, programmes and disaster management initiatives.

The stakeholders made the call in Abuja at a one-day stakeholders meeting organised by the Network of Women with Disabilities (NWD).

The event was supported by the Disability Rights Fund.

Lois Auta, project lead and executive director of NWD, said climate change affects women and girls with disabilities through biodiversity, food insecurity, health, economy, water sanitation and hygiene.

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“Our legal frameworks should encapsulate issues of women with disabilities and the impact of climate change,” she said.

“We need to include them in the planning; we should empower, engage and employ women with disabilities in all our jobs and training opportunities.

“Also, in the Conference of Parties (COP28), we did not see enough representation of women with disabilities.

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“We want to see women with disabilities in steering committees and all other platforms on climate change.

“We want the five percent reservations for women with disabilities in COP29, which plans have already started.”

Akintude Akinmolayen, executive director, Climate Actors Innovations and Sustainability, harped on the importance of prioritising needs of women with disabilities in various disaster scenarios and climate change impacts.

“Climate change affects everybody but PWDs are affected more especially in the area of access to facilities and when there is climate disaster, it aggravates and worsens the problem,” he said.

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“These are the areas that should be looked into to ensure that they are also supported, prepared and the response strategy for them to be able to cope, adjust to the crisis whenever it comes to them.”

Akinmolayen urged the government to include PWDs in policies and early warning systems.

James Lalu, executive secretary of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities (NCPWD), reiterated the agency’s commitment to promoting inclusion and upholding the rights of PWDs.

Lalu, who was represented by Akinbola Olanike, head of women and gender unit, said NCPWD collaborates with others on inclusion in climate change policies and impacts.

Fatima Kasim, special duties department of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said the agency prioritises PWDs and vulnerable groups when distributing relief items during any climate change impact like flooding.

Comfort Omokore, assistant chief planning officer, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), said the commission is committed to supporting and implementing policies and programmes for PWDs.

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