CoFe Table Talks Second Session: What would Feminist leadership for climate justice look like?
On Friday the 11th of August, the second session of the CoFe Table Talks was held.
This time, we gathered around the table with feminist leaders from Syria, Kenya, Venezuela and Pakistan. Together, they discussed what was lacking in COP27, what feminist leadership actually is, and how we can work towards it for COP28 and future work on climate justice.
Angham Dayioub, researcher in forestry and natural management, currently conducting a PhD on the effects of Syria’s armed conflict on biodiversity conservation from various socioeconomic and gender perspectives, was one of the speakers. She starts by sharing what she witnessed at COP27: “It was shocking the lack of civil society representation. I noticed that they were given a little hidden corner of the building”. And with only seven women among the 110 present leaders, the gender representation was far from equal, she notes.
Angham also mentions an interesting observation she made at the previous international climate summit, concerning the funding of sustainable projects in African countries: it is usually men that receive these fundings. Sefu Sanni, coordinator of the youth constituency of the UN committee on world food security-CFS, confirms this observation. Using the example of her country Kenya, she explains that while women are the biggest producers working on the land, they rarely own it. Besides not accessing the money that comes from external investments, women usually don’t either control the income from the products they grow. That is because men tend to be the one’s handling the selling of products on the market. Since men have control over the transactions around the products, women are dependent on the men to access the money that results from their own labor..
In other countries, such as Syria, the situation is similar. Angham Dayioub explains that while women are an important work force, they do not own the land, and their contracts for working on the fields are mostly verbal.
“A feminist approach is to ensure that women actually can own the land in which they produce. They also need to access the markets, so they can themselves distribute the food they produce” says Sefu Sanni.
As for recommendations concerning COP28, the feminist leaders agreed on the fact that it urgently needs to include voices from grassroot movements, from the women that take part in the food production, and who are most affected by climate change. Women working in agriculture hold unique knowedge of their lands, and have used it for centuries to preserve seeds of many important corps. Their knowledge is valuable and should be considered.
“There can be no change for us without us” - Sefu Sanni
The discussions concerning climate justice has to take place through a multi-sectoral approach, and an intersectional lens. COP28 should enable exchange and discussion on different levels: female leaders working on the lands need to meet with women from academia, as well as female leaders from the economical sphere, ect.
“We need to bring a holistic approach to the solutions. We need to approach climate solutions by considering social, cultural and economic dimensions because it will lead to more effective and sustainable outcomes” explains another speaker, Pia Revollo. She is a researcher in cultural and socio-environmental issues that focuses on the systematization of experiences for human rights defense, climate justice, and peace.
You can watch the complete session of the second CoFe Table Talks below. You can also access it by clicking here.
This was the second session of a series of #CoFeTableTalks. Stay tuned for the next session, that will happen in October 2023, by following us on our social media!