Chairman’s Opening Remarks on the Occasion of the Celebration of the International Women’s Day Organized by C21st and GIPI at the Bon Hotel Grand Pela, Abuja, March 8th 2017



I am delighted to welcome you to this occasion –the celebration of the International Women’s Day. It is a day that calls to question the essence of life without justice. Justice for the part of humanity, the Female Gender, that has been described over time as ‘poor, pregnant and powerless’. This description is apt when one recalls the plight of women in conflict ridden parts of the world; who as victims of rape, they have high vulnerability to debilitating diseases, limited or no reproductive health rights, poor access to health care, bear the burden of care for legitimate and unwanted children among others. They are simply victims of violence, with attendant traumatic consequences.

Ladies and gentlemen, I invite you to imagine what happens to the girl-child that goes through these harsh experiences. Imagine that as a child, she becomes a mother. Imagine that she is denied parental care. Imagine that her access to education is truncated. Imagine that her life dreams and ambitions are shattered. Imagine her on the street, in the IDP camp or in captivity as a sex slave to her captors. We can go on and on.

Consider the plight of the African woman, in stable but deprived communities. Imagine that the African woman, with her little children, girls and boys have to wake up early and trek long distances to fetch water for household needs. Imagine that she has to fetch firewood from the forest to prepare meals for the household. Imagine that she has to return to the market arena, either as a petty trader, hawker or scavenger; to earn a little to contribute to the family economy. Imagine the hardship she goes through to send her child to school. Imagine the pains she goes through, as the plague of unemployment looms over her husband and educated children. The Gbagyi woman belongs here too.

But she has peculiar experiences. It is this woman that has borne the burden of the nation from Minna to Zungeru; from Jere to Kaduna; from Toto to Abuja since the formation of Nigeria. These places have geo-political relevance as seat of power either to the colonial or federal governments. The wood that she carries on her shoulders has now become her official complaint about balkanization and neglect. She is bewildered as successive governments have misapplied extant laws on land use, the federal character, resettlement, urban renewal to diminish her economic fortunes. It is this woman that lost her children to careless drivers on the palatial highways of Abuja as they returned home from school. She agonizes over the fact that she is told that in Abuja, her entire family does not have franchise for self-governance; she agonizes that there has been a longstanding conspiracy to block her access to means of production and national wealth. In her existential trauma, she cries out needs to be heard.

GIPI remains highly indebted to Ms Della Ilenre for her sensitivity to these issues and utilizing the opportunity offered by the Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st) to mobilize sponsorship for today’s event from the International Women’s Forum Peru. The case she made was for the Gbagyi Woman –the need to give her a voice. She was inspired by her late father, Pa Alfred Ilenre, may his soul rest in peace. GIPI met him briefly yet he left an indelible mark on us as a true nationalist. In addition, Della has a mentor, Titilope Akosa, Executive Director of C21st who has made invaluable contributions to the success of today’s event. We thank her most sincerely.

Prof. Andrew Zamani


Goodwill Message Delivered By Hon. Minister For Women Affairs ( Nigeria) At the 2o17 International Women’s Day celebration Organized By C21st And Gbayi Indigenous Peoples Initiative


  1. It gives me great joy to be part of this important occasion tagged; “The need to give Gbagyi Indigenous women a voice” aimed at creating awareness for the overall wellbeing of Gbagyi indigenous women in Federal Capital Territory. This seminar as the name implies will serve as a facilitating factor by connecting Gbagyi indigenous women and their community to the national and international frameworks for articulating and enlightening them on the need to advocate for their rights as indigenous people of Federal Capital Territory and to maintain and strengthen their own institutions, cultures and traditions.

2.The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development has the mandate to co-ordinate all activities that are aimed at protecting and promoting the welfare of all Nigerian women by enhancing their abilities to realize their full potentials in various fields of human endeavours.

  1. It is very important to sensitize and build the capacity of FCT indigenous women on the preservation of their indigenous knowledge and how to use it for the benefit of their communities and the future generations, according to the Sustainable Development Goals 11 (SDG 11) on the need to make cities inclusively safe, resilient and sustainable.
  2. It is quite disheartening to note that Gbagyi Indigenous women lack knowledge, capacity, solidarity and a collective sense to organize an initiative in order to manage their resources. Also, they are the voiceless and less dominant in the city due to lack of political and socio-economic participation.
  3. It is my honest deposition to state that my ministry is already involved in the course of providing an enabling environment that can give women a voice in the society.
  4. In this regards, I sincerely want to assure you that the Ministry of Women Affairs will always identify with such laudable project like this to uplift the status of Gbagyi indigenous women and the overall Nigerian woman.
  5. Finally, I wish to appreciate the effort of the organizers of this great event and also the development partners and other stakeholders for your encouragement towards addressing and breaking the long silence of the Gbagyi Indigenous women of the Federal Capital Territory and helping them to be heard.
  6. Thank you all for listening.











Impacts Of Mecury On Human Health And The Environment

In our efforts as human beings to improve our standard of living, we consequently increase our industrial activities. These activities release pollutants into our environment.One of these pollutants that are toxic to human health and the environment is mercury.

Mercury is an extremely poisonous chemical element with symbol Hg. Though it can be changed into solid or gas at suitable temperature, it is the only metal that is liquid at room temperature. In its physical state, mercury appears appealing in shiny silver-white form and it conducts electricity due to its very high surface tension.


Mercury exists naturally through volcanic activity, weathering of rocks, that is, the normal breakdown of minerals in rocks,and water movement. It also occurs through human activities such asartisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM); a prevalent mining process in Nigeria, coal-fired power plants, industrial fugitive emissions, oil and gas processing industry and cement production. These are major activities thatemitmercury into the atmosphere and release it into soil and waterthereby causing environmental pollution in Nigeria.

Mercury can be used to make scientific instruments such as thermometers and barometers. Also, because of its ability to conduct electricity, it is used in electric switches and as relays in equipment. The vapor in mercury is used in streetlights and fluorescent lamps.  Mercury readily combines with other metals like gold, zinc and silver to form alloys; also called amalgams. These amalgams are used to create dental filings, prolong the life of dry battery cells made with zinc and used to help extract gold from its ore.

Other sources of mercury includeskin-lightening products, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, industrial boilers,agricultural fertilizers, waste disposal and incineration.


Health Impacts   

Mercury is a major public health concern because it is inimical to human health.  Exposure to the toxic element and its compound can cause damage to the brain, disrupt the nervous system and affect the lungs, kidneys and eyes. It also results in allergic reactions such as headaches, tiredness and skin rashes. Even in small amounts, mercury impacts the reproductive organs negatively by causing sperm damage, birth defects and miscarriages.

Nearly all fish and shell fish contain traces of mercury but some have higher concentration that may be harmful to pregnant women; however, for dietary purpose, pregnant women can still eat fish and shell fish that are low in mercury.

Additionally, the continuous use of skin lightening products that contain mercury poses a high health risk to people who use them. The accumulation of mercury in the body through the skin can damage the liver and kidney.

Environmental Impacts   

Mercury and its compound are non-biodegradable. So, they persist in the environment for an extended period killing important microorganisms in the environment.

Mercury is significantly harmful due to its ability for long-range transportation. It can travel globally through air, soil and water bodies.

Mercury and its compounds also have adverse impact on the environment as they bio-accumulate in the ecosystem. Mercury accumulates in organisms through different transmission pathways like the food chain.


Role Of Nigerian Government 

Nigerian government through the Federal Ministry of Environment is involved in a variety of activities to phase out mercury. These include promoting use of clean energy in industrial activities, enforcing the proper use and disposal of mercury containing products,discouraging the use of mercury in gold mining, developing laws to protect the health of Nigerian citizens and finding lasting alternatives to the use of mercury containing products.

In order to phase out mercury, Nigeria became a signatory to the Minamata convention on mercury; a global environment treaty, on 10th October, 2013.  The convention is aimed at promoting the “use of alternatives and Best Available Techniques (BAT) and Best Environmental Practices (BEP) across a wide range of products, processes and industries where mercury is used, released or emitted.”  This, in the end, will help protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury and its compound.

The government in a series of strategic plans and with support from Global Environment Facility (GEF), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is working assiduously to implement the Minamata Convention Initial Assessment (MIA) project. This will assist Nigeria to assess its institutional capability, identify gaps in policy and legislative framework, identify intervention sources and raise awareness among relevant stakeholders. The success of the MIA will serve as a basis for the country to ratify the Minamata convention requirements.

To further the course of raising awareness among Nigerian citizens, the Federal Ministry of Environment at a recent workshop in Lagos engaged the media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on the Minamata convention on mercury. The awareness raising workshop was to enlighten participants on the Minamata convention, and develop strategic and realistic tactics to disseminate information on mercuryto the populace.

The role of the media and NGOs cannot be over-stressed as the sector is the mouthpiece of the people, if fierce awareness is raisedsuch as it was done with NAFDAC number on products during Professor Dora Akunyili’s tenure at the agency whereby illiterates and educated people became aware of the importance of NAFDAC’s certification on a product, Nigeria is on a good path to fulfill its obligation to the ratification of the Minamata convention while also contributing to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals 3, 6, 9 and 14.


Ms Damilola Adeoye

Program officer,

Centre For 21st Century Issues





African Women Congratulate Their Super Shero –Ms. Amina Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary General

19 th December, 2016

On behalf of Nigerian women and indeed, African women, we heartily congratulate Amina J. Mohammed, the Honourable Minister of Environment, Nigeria, for a well earned and deserved appointment as the new Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations. This is another testimony to her great and avowed commitment to the people and the planet.

The exemplary life of service of Ms. Amina Mohammed since her days as the National moderator of Civil Society Action Coalition On Education for All (CSACEFA) to her meritorious service in coordinating the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), her recent role in catalyzing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and her current transformative leadership as Nigeria’s Minister of the Environment; have demonstrated unwavering commitment, dedication and passion to the cause of humanity.

In all these positions Ms. Amina Mohammed has inspired us women to strive to be the best and aim for the stars. We have drawn inspiration from her leadership, encouragement and wealth of experience. We are therefore not surprised that her dedication, passion and doggedness has propelled her to achieve the feat of been the first woman in Nigeria to attain this new position.

Her latest accomplishments are indeed no mean feat; it is a signal to all women everywhere that women can shatter the glass ceiling and at the same time a clarion call for the enthronement of women’s leadership in the world.

Assuredly, we women are solidly behind her, we stand by and support her to succeed in this new position.

We commend President Mohammed Buhari and Nigeria people for reposing confidence in Ms. Amina Mohammed to take on the Position of the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations.

While we appreciate the President for appointing Amina Mohammed, we are very much aware that she deserves it, we take this opportunity to call for more openings and opportunities for smart and hardworking Nigerian and African women into appointive leadership positions at all levels.

Congratulations again! We are proud of you and your achievements.

Continue to climb new heights of success! You are unstoppable!

Priscilla M. Achakpa-Women Environmental Programme, Nigeria/Organizing Partner-Women’s Major Group

For and on behalf of Nigerian and African Women’s Major Group

Endorsed by

1. Ms. Titilope Akosa – Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st) – Nigeria

2. Sascha A Gabizon- Women Engage for a Common Future- International and Organizing Partner, Women Major Groups (WMG)

3. Anne Addeh- Women and Youths Environmental Safety and Empowerment Organisation a.k.a EWAY for Development

4. Ms. Ugbaa Sewuese Mary –Angel support Foundation – Nigeria

5. Thelma Munhequete – Africa foundation for Sustainable Development- Mozambique

6. Mrs. Semia Gharbi: Association de l’Education Environnementale pour les Futures Générations: AEEFG, -Tunisia

7. Amb Caroline Usikpedo – Niger Delta Women’s movement for Peace and DevelopmentNigeria

8. Louisa Ono Eikhomun- Echoes of Women in Africa (ECOWA) Nigeria

9. Judith Kateule- Africa Foundation for Sustainable Development (AFSD)-Zambia

10. Attah Benson- Community Emergency Response Initiative, Nigeria

11. Juliana Agema-Charles and Doosurgh Abaagu Foundation, Nigeria

12. Felicia Onibon- Change Managers International Network, Country Coordinator Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya GEC

13. Omoyemen Lucia Odigie-Emmanuel- Centre for Human Rights and Climate Change Research, Nigeria

14. Zenabou Segda- Women Environmental Programme, Burkina Faso

15. TSONYA – ACAKPO ADDRA Brigitte- Women Environmental Programme, Togo

16. Elizabeth Jeyol- Gender and Environmental Risk Reduction Initiative (GERI), Nigeria 17. Cécile NDJEBET Presidente REFACOF/Coordonnatrice Nat. Cameroon

18. Gertrude Kabusimbi Kenyangi- Support for Women in Agriculture and Environment (SWAGEN), Uganda

19. Mrs. Hawa Nibi Amenga-Etego- GrassRootsAfrica, Ghana

20. Juliet Wombo-Kwande Sisters Foundation, Nigeria

21. Nnenna Nwakanma- Africa Regional Coordinator, World Wide Web Foundation

22. Colette BENOUDJI, Lead Tchad

23. Akurut Violet Adome (Hon) Member of Parliament Uganda and Founder Member and Chair Katakwi Grassroots Women Development Initiative (KAWODI) Uganda.

24. Ndivile Mokoena- GenderCCSA, South Africa

25. Jennifer Amejja- National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), Uganda

26. Diel Mochire Mwenge- Provincial PIDP Nord-Kivu, REPALEF/RDC au Nord-Kivu, RDC 27. Hon. Winifred Masiko- Rural Gender and Development Association, Uganda

28. Kemi Oluyide- Centre for Grassroots and Environmental Concerns, Nigeria

29. Nkiruka Nnaemego-Fresh and Young Brains Development Initiative, Nigeria

30. Hanna Gunnarsson, Women Engage for a Common Future Deutschland 31.

Mary Nyasimi- Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Kenya

32. Winnie Lichuma- Chairperson, National Gender and Equality Commission,Kenya

33. Rose Pélagie MASSO, Coordonnatrice Adjointe Cameroun Ecologie (Cam-Eco)

34. Veronica Jakarasi- Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, Zimbabwe

35. Mirabel Edozie – South – South Professional Women Association, Nigeria.

36. Daisy Alero Emoekabu- Climate  Change  Policy  PhD  Researcher,  University  of  Kent,  and  Green  Patriots  for  Environmental  Protection  &  Sustainability,  Nigeria

37. Bose Ironsi-  Women’s Rights and Health Project (WRAHP), Nigeria

38. Ruth During- Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council(WSSCC), Nigeria

39. Lucy Mulenkei- Indigenous Information Network, Kenya

40. Dr, Keziah Awosika -Women Law and Development Centre (WLDCN)- Nigeria

41. Alexandrial Allen- foundation Starters – Nigeria

42. Nancy Olatunji-International Living Africa Urban and Environment Project – Nigeria

43. Vivian Ifeoma Emesowum, Grassroot People and Gender Development Center – Nigeria For further information:

1. Women Environmental Programme (WEP) Block E Flat 2 Anambra Court, Gaduwa Housing Estate, after Apo Legislative Quarters Abuja, Nigeria;

2. Centre For 21st Century Issues (C21st) 6, Balogun Street, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria



The Advocacy and Campaigns Coalition (ACC) is a platform of Civil Society Networks in Lagos State working with other relevant stakeholders  to reduce mortality and morbidity from diarrhea in under 5 children within the framework of the WHO /UNICEF 7point plan for diarrhea control.

The attention of the ACC has been drawn to the recent cancellation of the monthly environmental sanitation exercise in Lagos state.

The ACC is disturbed by the reason of “present economic realities in the country” given for the cancellation. With due respect this apparent attempt to promote economic benefits above clean and healthy environment is capable of undermining people centered governance being promoted by the current administration in Lagos state.  The reality is that there cannot be economic viability without clean and healthy environment which impacts on the productivity of the people.

We are all the more concerned that the exercise was cancelled without any stop gap measure in place to preserve the gains of sound environmental sanitation, self discipline and strict adherence to standard hygiene rules and practices promoted in the last 20 years by the rested environmental sanitation exercise.

Of utmost concern is the inability of the government to muster enough political will in adopting the Lagos State Water Supply and Sanitation (WASH) Policy which has been in the pipeline for several years.

These portend grave consequences for public health and sustainable sanitation especially in the face of deteriorating state of public water supply and sanitation services in the state.

It is acknowledged  that hygiene practices are generally poor in the state due to inadequate access to portable  water (10% or roughly 2.1 Million people in Lagos  have access to potable water )  and sanitation services as well as moral decadence to the environment. This poor state of water and sanitation has contributed significantly to the high prevalence of preventable diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, malaria and typhoid.

Significantly, Lagos has the 2nd highest prevalence of diarrhea rate in South West Nigeria (7.5%) after Oyo state (9.2%) having an average diarrhea incidence of 13% or 520,000 cases per annum. These diseases also accounts for the rise in morbidity, mortality and absenteeism in schools and at work.

  • That Lagos State Governor uses his good office to as a matter of urgency adopt the draft Lagos State WASH Policy and roll out an effective implementation plan
  • That all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and stakeholders responsible for the review of environmental Laws of Lagos state speed up action on it and ensure the passage of the Law before the end of first quarter of 2017.
  • Regular updates should be given to the general populace with respect to progress on the passage of the harmonized environmental Laws.


It is incontestable that improvement in mortality rates from preventable diseases such as typhoid, diarrhea, cholera and malaria, etc., was because of improved standard of environmental sanitation. Thus, we believe that a well planned, coordinated and implemented environmental sanitation policy for disease prevention and control is what Lagos State needs at this time, given the megacity status of the state.


Ms Gbemisola Akosa

ACC Coordinator

The ACC comprises: Lagos State Gender Advocacy Team (LASGAT) / Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st) (Gbemisola Akosa), Lagos State Civil Society Partnership (LACSOP) (Ayo Adebusoye), Youth WASH (Titilola Kazeem), National Orientation Agency (Aderemi Olaniyan), Partnership for Good Governance (Vivian Emesomwu), Climate Wednesday (Olumide Idowu), Child Protection Network (Ngozi Okoro), Network for Water and Sanitation (NEWSAN), ( Henry Adenigba), WASH Media Network (Michael Simire) and Community Coalition (Francis Ogunbanjo).

COP22 SBSTA Closing statement By Women and Gender Constituency

SBSTA Closing – Delivered by Daisy Emoekabu  of Centre for 21st century Issue (c21st) on Nov 14, 2016
Thank you for this opportunity to speak on behalf of the Women and Gender Constituency.
For women, agriculture, forests, and land use in general, are themes that are of crucial importance. We are the majority of the world’s food producers and play a key role in the transformative change that is needed to change current highly polluting industrial models in the agriculture, livestock and forestry sectors into genuinely sustainable and resilient land use initiatives. Such initiatives are often driven by communities on the ground, and it is important climate policies provide appropriate and adequate legal, technical and financial support for such community initiatives.
In this light, we want to express our deep concern about proposals to include agriculture, forest conservation, and land use in general, as offset opportunities in market-based mechanisms and approaches. Due to contextual inequities these market-based approaches will always lead to the marginalization of women, Indigenous Peoples, smallholders and other politically and economically marginalized actors. Moreover, land use related offsets are very unreliable and there are no accurate accounting methodologies for land use change. That is why we vehemently reject the inclusion of land use in carbon markets. We also support the concerns of certain Parties about market-based mechanisms in general.
We are particularly upset about the proposals for an international offsetting mechanism for the emissions produced by the aviation industry, probably the most rapidly growing source of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet. These proposals were deliberately developed outside the framework of the UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement, by a body that was originally established as a technical body, but which has shown clear signs of conflict of interest with the commercial interests of the aviation sector the past years. We cannot allow this body to determine the decision-making processes under the UNFCCC related to such an importance source of emissions, and the best way to deal with it.
We urge the SBSTA, and the other bodies under the Convention, to maintain its integrity and make sound recommendations and decisions based on sound science. Decisions that include a promotion of the so-called bioeconomy, or international commodity trade in agricultural products, are clearly based on commercial interests of certain business actors rather than the rights, needs and interests of common women and men, including the millions of women that produce your food. So we urge Parties to reclaim the UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement as a public instrument that should be steered by public interests based on sound science that is free from conflicts of interests of other industry influence.
Thank You

Breaking Patriarchal Barriers for Gender Sensitive Climate Change Initiatives

On Saturday, 11th of November, the Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st) and women Environment Program facilitated a skill share session on the theme: “Breaking Patriarchal Barriers for Gender Sensitive Climate Change Initiative.” The side event, which was hosted by the Global Climate Change Alliance (GGCA) Innovations Forum was attended by women and men across the globe, who participated and shared their experiences on patriarchal challenges they have in course of implementing climate change projects in the local and national context.

Climate change affects everyone, yet women among other vulnerable groups in developing and least developed countries bear the brunt of the impacts of climate change. While it is now important to start looking at ways to reduce the negative effects of climate change on women, attention is drawn to the challenges thrown up by patriarchy at different levels of climate governance. Either at the community or the global climate policy level, patriarchy continue to constitute a stumbling block to a gender just climate policy and interventions.

 Ms Akosa  Facilitating Skill Share Session At the GGCA Innovation Forum  

In many societies, it is a big challenge to have access to women without negotiating with community leaders who are mostly males. It is acknowledged that decision making positions and authority lies with men.Patriarchy is a system issue which manifest in almost every facet of societal life. Majority of women and men are recruited and socialized into It.

The kind of barriers posed by patriarchy for women includes inadequate access to information, limited opportunity for aspiring to decision making positions, lack of voice, representation and participation, to mention a few. Of course, these barriers in most cases leave women vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

At the global policy levels, the barriers manifest in a different form though it is still linked to patriarchal challenges identified at the local levels and the different processes. The issues of developed and the developing countries take the centre stage, women and gender issues are perceived as less important to other pressing issues of climate finance, emissions reductions and technology transfer.

Daisy (Nigeria), Hauwa (Ghana) Titi (Nigeria) and Rose (Cameroon ) @ the Innovations Forum

However, these perceived pressing issues are issues that are not gender neutral, it affects men and women. For instance, women need climate finance to trickle down to the local levels where climate change is biting harder. Lack of finance and feminized poverty inhibits women’s adaptation to the impacts of climate change. Equally, risky and unsafe technologies must be avoided in mitigating climate change. Thus, women and gender have a place in all the issues being negotiated under the UNFCCC.

Way  Forward
As noted by the skill share facilitator, Ms Titi Akosa and other participants – ‘the patriarchal issue is a system issue and thus needs a system change to correct.

While finding ways to break barriers, women must not see it as a battle-line between men and women but as a negotiation process for change. Women should be firm but subtle about breaking barriers and push the issues of women empowerment forward.
There is need for aggressive awareness about patriarchy, its effects on women and the society at large; and its interconnections with climate change at all levels. Women should endeavour to work in unity and collaborate with men in delivering gender responsive climate projects.

Participants @ the skill share Session

The experiences garnered by the facilitator as one of the women climate justice advocates supported by Women Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), advocating on behalf of women and gender in the processes leading to securing the Paris Agreement was very insightful. The facilitator and other women climate justice advocates engaged negotiators with women’s key demands, provided gender responsive texts and shared perspectives on the importance of gender just climate policy. These are best practices in women supporting each other to raise awareness in advancing women and gender issues in the negotiations.

It must however be noted that gender and women responsive climate initiatives may not always break barriers posed by patriarchy. This is very possible if projects are not well articulated to have impacts on gender relations and or aimed specifically to target barriers imposed by patriarchy against women.

Participants agreed that there is need for a deeper appreciation of the challenges imposed by patriarchy and that the challenges should be dealt with in an integrated manner to engender a supportive environment for gender equality to thrive.


Daisy  Alero Emoekabu

Climate Policy Researcher,

University of Kent, U. K .




The Women 2030 Project African Region Training

Ahead of the 2016 Marrakesh climate change Summit, the Centre for 21st century Issues (C21st), one of the Civil society Organization (CSOs) working with Women Environment Program in Africa under the Women CSO networking to realize the sustainable Development Goals project also known as Women 2030 Project participated in the African regional Train Of Trainers (TOT) which held from 4-5 of November 2016 in Marrakesh Morocco.

The Women 2030 project is an European union funded Project being implemented in 52 countries across different regions of the world  by a coalition of 5 global regional women and gender networks working towards the realization of the sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG-13 on Climate Action.  The organizations are; Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF); Women Environmental Programme (WEP); Global Forest Coalition (GFC); Gender and Water Alliance (GWA); and Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD).


The TOT which was aimed at building the capacity of  women organizations in Africa to advise  local, national and regional gender responsive sustainable development policies  (2030 agenda and Paris Agreement ) brought together 30 women’s organization from Across Africa.

Sacha Gabizon and other participants @ the training

The two day training introduced participants to the Women 2030 Project and explained the responsibilities of participating organizations to  monitor the implementation of the SDGs in their countries and how to  achieve change on the ground with women and men  through gender assessments, writing of shadow reports, policy dialogues and sharing lessons learnt.

After the training the women participated in the Marrakesh climate summit working with the Women and gender Constituency of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to voice the needs and concerns of women in the global climate discussions particularly addressing structural barriers to climate protection and the urgent need for a gender just climate action.

Towards the implementation of the women 2030 project in Nigeria, C21st will work with Fresh and Young Brains Initiative (FBI) to train and coordinate other CSOs to monitor and track the implementation of the SDGs  in the next four years .



Cynthia Wechabe (kenya) and Getrude Keyangi (Uganda) at the training
Priscilla Achakpa of Women Environmental Program  facilitating a training session



Ms Akosa, Executive Director, C21st  facilitating a gender training


Why Do Women Need Moustaches To be heard?

On Thursday, November 10 2016 the Women and Gender Constituency of the UNFCCC hosted an interactive ACTION at COP22 to highlight institutionalized barriers to women’s participation in climate decision-making at household, community, institutional, national, regional and international levels.

Despite women’s disproportionate vulnerability to climate change, women are marginalized from climate decision-making bodies and generally do not hold positions of leadership or authority. Women and other civil society groups demand that governments and institutions ensure women’s full and equal participation in all levels of decision-making, and reach the goal of gender balance through targeted resources and capacity building efforts.

Women and other civil society organizations from around the world  are  also demanding that structures of power are transformed with participatory, rights-based decision-making processes for climate policy that are inclusive of all peoples, particularly women and men in frontline and Indigenous communities in


the economic South and North. Women demand to be equally and fully engaged in all levels of climate change decision-making! We should not need moustaches to be heard!


Women demonstrating at the action

Women Strategize for Justice and sustainable future for All At COP22

On the 6th of November, a day before the official opening of COP22, Women from across the globe gathered at Radisson Blue hotel to strategize and plan advocacy activities to push their key demands within and outside the UNFCCC.

Knowing that COP22 is a key policy space where actions to implement the historic Paris agreement are going to be catalyzed, women under the leadership of the Women and Gender Constituency of the UNFCCC  had prepared  their  key  demands titled “Women Demand Real Action To Promote Human Rigths, Justice and Sustainable Future For All

Some of the key demand which women will be advocating during the COP is;

  • new decision to move forward on the progress made under the Lima Work Programme on Gender in relation to institutional coherence, capacity building and knowledge exchange, incorporate specific actions to address a lack of progress on achieving gender balance on national delegations and boards/bodies, as well as generate concrete recommendations for enhancing implementation of gender-responsive climate policy.
  • Implementation of the Paris agreement and  Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) must respect, promote and consider obligations related to human rights, including the rights of indigenous peoples, gender equality, a just transition, food security and intergenerational equity. On human rights,  gender equality  as stated in the Preamble of the Paris agreement.
  • climate finance must  be 100% gender responsive
  • Climate solutions must be gender just and should promote among other things;
  1. Equal access to benefits / equal benefits to women in all areas of energy value chain and energy democracy
  2. Empower women via enhanced accessibility, livelihood security, health including sexual and reproductive health and rights and safety and decision making in all levels by local women and men, women’s group, cooperatives and communities

COP22 is an important policy moment for women to ensure gender equality and women’s empowerment is mainstreamed in action plans to implement the Paris agreement. Thus In the next two weeks women are going to be tracking and lobbying negotiators to support these demands. Various advocacy actions will be undertaken to ensure that these demands are reflected in the overall outcomes of COP22.

Some key gender events planned  by the women and gender constituency are

  1. African Women’s Day, Wednesday,  9 November
  2. Trade / Labour   Day Friday   11 November
  3. Young feminist Day, Monday ,  14 November
  4. Indigenous Women’s day , Wednesday 16 November

Because COP22 is taking place in Africa, African women are fully on ground here in Marrakesh working with their counterparts from other parts of the world to ensure issues peculiar to their context as African women are taken into account.

Significantly 35 women from 15 African countries have been mobilized under the Women 2030 project, a project designed to measure the achievement of the SDGs on gender equality around the world to participate in COP22.

Women strategizing @ COP 22

The Women2030 project is being implemented by a consortium of women organizations which include; Women Environment Project (WEP) Global Forest Coalition (GFC), Women Engaged for Common Future (WECF) , Gender and Water Alliance (GWA) and   Asia -Pacific  Forum On Women Law and Development  (APWLD)


Over the two weeks of the COP these women are going to be raising voice for women in the negotiations and organizing to ensure that issues and concerns of women are adequately addressed in climate change policies and actions.