President Weekes: Gender equity tied to environmental protection

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

President Paula-Mae Weekes

President Paula-Mae Weekes is honouring the contributions of women environmentalists and notes that the empowerment of women is tied to environmental protection and sustainable development.

In a media release from the Office of the President, commemorating International Women’s Day on Tuesday, Weekes highlighted the connection between gender social equity and climate change as women were disproportionately affected by natural disasters.

She said there was need to formulate and introduce climate mitigation strategies to effectively tackle these threats, commending activists Greta Thunberg and Isatou Ceesay for raising awareness on the issue.

Weekes also noted that in Trinidad and Tobago women environmentalists were doing their part to address the issues.

“We salute Molly Gaskin, co-founder of the Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust, whose work in environmental education earned her the Hummingbird Medal Gold in 1987; Akilah Jaramogi, co-founder of the Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project, which is a shining example of grassroots conservationism; and our very own Girl Guides who have embarked on a three-year journey to become environmentally conscious citizens and leaders.

“According to the UNs, women and girls comprise 70 per cent of the global poor and therefore depend more on, yet have less access to, the natural resources that are at risk of depletion or overexploitation, such as water, agriculture and energy.

“Although responsible for 50-80 per cent of food production, women own less than ten per cent of the land and make up 80 per cent of those displaced by climate-related disasters.”

Weekes also called on the public to encourage the participation of women and girls in addressing climate-change issues.