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IREMA uses gender mainstreaming as a social mechanism to cope with climate change

IREMA uses gender mainstreaming as a social mechanism to cope with climate change

Gender mainstreaming featured prominently in the Kunene Region recently when the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia conducted an intensive Train the Trainer workshop as part of its ongoing ‘Improving Rangeland and Ecosystem Management’ (IREMA) project.

The training was given to a group of trainers who target audience is smallholder farmers affected by climate change in the districts of Sesfontein, Fransfontein, and Warmquelle. The workshop was conducted in Opuwo and Khorixas from 12 to 15 July.

The IREMA project, funded by the Green Climate Fund, is implemented by the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF) in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform. The training strengthens the capacity of the IREMA staff, key stakeholders and beneficiaries, to address gender inequality in the various projects. It promotes social inclusion as a strategy that contributes to the successful outcomes of social projects.

In her welcoming remarks, Ms Mirjam Kaholongo, the National Project Manager encouraged the trainees to openly unpack gender issues affecting them This will aid the project implementers to identify and address key bottlenecks to gender inequality to include gender consideration into project activities. She further emphasised that gender equality and women’s empowerment is a cornerstone of effective climate action, therefore it is imperative to make the vital connections between gender, social equity, and climate change.

Presenting the essence of the workshop, Ms Kredula Shimwandi of the EIF, highlighted the fund’s commitment to gender equity and equality between women and men throughout the project implementation period.

‘’We have areas of gender implementation, with the gender policy imbedded in all policies and programmes to integrate the objectives of gender equality in [all] public engagements to address gender gaps and unequal power relationships,” she said.

According to the Dr Mogotsi Immaculate from the University of Namibia, male and female entitlements, duties and responsibilities are divided along gender lines, with males making most decisions whilst women are responsible for most of the household chores and have limited or no decision-making power. The gender division of labour, coupled with unequal decision-making power and control over household, land and community resources provides males and females with deferential opportunities to adapt to climate change.

She further stressed that involving both women and men in all processes of climate action is a significant factor in meeting the climate challenges. ‘’Teach our boys and girls how to carry out daily activities without discriminating them based on their gender roles, to build resilience and ability to address climate change,’’ Mogotsi said.

Mr Sakeus Shilomboleni the EIF’s Environmental and Social Safeguard Officer closed the workshop, saying that it was an important opportunity to highlight the gender gaps and barriers that exist in the Kunene Region and setting the tone with the participants on what is expected of them in terms of gender mainstreaming through the IREMA project.

“While mainstreaming is clearly essential for securing human rights and social justice for both men and women, it also increasingly recognizes that incorporating gender perspectives into different areas of development ensures the effective achievement of other social and economic goals,” he said.

He further encouraged the project beneficiaries to become champions of gender mainstreaming upon returning to their respective communities, with continuous guidance from the ERIMA project leaders.

As part of its rangeland protection project, IREMA, the Environmental Investment Fund conducted an intensive workshop in Opuwo to teach trainers in the local communities the importance of gender mainstreaming in adapting to climate change. The same workshop was also presented in Khorixas.


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