Green Economy: First Ladies Say Women Need Empowerment

On the side-line of the 5th AU-EU Summit, Mrs Chantal Biya has joined her peers to discuss the role of women in curbing climate change effect at Abidjan.

Like sisters from the same family with similar problems, African First Ladies, accompanying their husband for the current African Union–European Union Summit in Abidjan Côte d’lvoire yesterday, November 29, 2017 joined their voices to stress the need for women to be empowered, as a means to reduce the effects of climate upheavals affecting the world today. This was during a lunch debate for spouses hosted by the First Lady of Côte d’lvoire, Dominique Quattarra.

By midday, the over 10 African First Ladies in Abidjan, alongside wives of Heads of Government, national and international dignitaries converged on the Ivoire Golf Club on a totally “woman matter.”

Their discussions focused on the theme: “What role can women play in the green economy.”  Conviviality and fraternity reigned as the ladies embraced each other upon arrival at the Golf Club. Sitting next to Dominique Quattarra was Cameroon’s First Lady, Chantal Biya.

Amongst other dignitaries spotted in the hall was the spouse of the President of the European Council, Malgorzata Tusk and President of the R20 Green Fund, Michelle Sabban.

Dominique Quattara took to the rostrum explaining that the degradation of the natural resources, the increasing water shortage and the destruction of the ecosystem has spared no continent. Unfortunately, she added, women and children remain the main victims and by far the most severely affected.

One of the globally adopted solutions to the climatic problem, Mrs Quattarra noted, is the transition to a green economy that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserve natural resources while creating jobs, fostering growth and contributing to women’s empowerment.

“We must therefore pay special attention to women’s potentials in implementing this economic model by improving their capacity, transferring technology and financing their projects”, Dominique Quattarra underlined.

The First Ladies all agreed that the capacity of women needs to be improved so that they can better understand and tackle the different environmental challenges.

The need to transfer technology to women was also important so as to give them an opportunity to improve their productivity while respecting the environment. Mrs Biya and her peers also saw the necessity to identify the various funds that can help their fellow sisters to gain autonomy through green economy.

During the lunch debate, a beaming Chantal Biya continually nodded her head and encouraged her peers in what they are doing to empower women in a green economy.

It is no news that even before the global effects of climate change came into the limelight, Cameroon’s First Lady had embarked on a long term journey with her associations such as the Circle of Friends of Cameroon (CERAC) to empower women particularly those in Cameroon through the donation of modern agricultural tools to rural women in all the ten regions of the country as well as funds to various female networks.

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