Women Reject EU’s Interference In The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative

 

African women reject the European Union’s unnecessary meddling in Africa’s Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI).  African women are very concerned at the manner in which some European countries, France in particular, influenced some African leaders to hastily approve projects without having a transparent process with social, environmental and gender criteria in place.

 

At a board meeting in March in Conakry, the European Commission and France in collusion with a few African countries repackaged existing European Union projects for Africa, but which did not originate from Africa, as first batch of projects to be approved by AREI.

 

The way and manner these projects were introduced and approved- by bypassing AREI’s process being developed for social and Environmental criteria- is a very negative sign, setting the entire process off on a negative footing, refusing African people’s transparent decision making, and entirely against the principles by which AREI was created.

 

African women insist that European Union cannot dictate for Africans over any issue especially the one concerning universal access to clean, appropriate and affordable energy for all.

 

Women are particularly concerned about the unnecessary interference by European Union and France particularly as it can jeopardize the noble objective of AREI in providing people-centered and gender responsive clean energy solutions capable of addressing the chronic energy poverty which affects women in Africa disproportionately.

 

African women join their voices with other Civil Society Organizations in Africa to condemn the undue interference of European Union in AREI. African women stand for a strong and independent AREI, with full and meaningful participation of women’s organizations in all levels of the decision-making processes.

 

For and on behalf of African women

 

Ms Priscilla Achakpa, Executive Director, Women Environment Program (WEP), Collette Benoudji Coordinator  Association Lead Tchad and Ms Titilope Akosa, Executive Director, Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st)

 For further information:

Centre For 21st Century Issues (C21st)

6, Balogun Street, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria

Email: titiakosa@gmail.com

 

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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.

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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.