Gender Affairs team joins climate change fight

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front 8 wi redi campaign launch
A launch event for the initiative took place on Thursday (Photo contributed)
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During a small ceremony at the Trade Winds Hotel, the Directorate of Gender Affairs launched its Wi REDI Campaign yesterday morning.

The Wi REDI (Resilient Educated Dynamic and Inclusive) Campaign is a national behavioural change communication strategy. The six-month project aims to strengthen gender equality mainstreaming, and national-level decision-making for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in Antigua and Barbuda.

The campaign will include several activities such as a community canvasing exercise, a ‘soccerama’, public sector workshops, and a multi-pronged communications approach utilising social and traditional media.

In his remarks during the ceremony, Minister of Social Transformation Dean Jonas underscored the importance of integrating gender considerations into climate change policy and programmes.

“Climate crises require holistic solutions that consider the perspectives of the entire community,” he said.

“Existing social norms result in differing roles and responsibilities for men and women. These norms impact men’s and women’s access to resources and decision-making power differently. Men and women, boys, and girls contribute differently to the causes of climate change, are affected differently by it, and react differently to its impacts.”

Representatives from the National Office of Disaster Services and the Department of Environment also attended the ceremony. They provided brief remarks regarding their respective agencies ongoing climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction efforts.

The campaign’s flagship event, a climate change-themed soccerama, will see six local football clubs compete in a one-day football tournament. Each team will be rebranded as a different climate change-related weather phenomenon for the event. Greenbay Hopper, Ottos Tigress, Wadadli United, Cutting Edge, Trendsetters, and Fort Road football clubs are scheduled to participate in the event.

Wi REDI is an outcome of the EnGenDER (Enabling Gender-Responsive Disaster Recovery, Climate and Environmental Resilience) Project implemented by the United Nations Development Programme and UN Women Multi-Country Office – Caribbean with funding support from Global Affairs Canada and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

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