RURAL women in Lesotho feel the effects of climate more than anyone else because they depend on natural resources to sustain their families, United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator, Amanda Mukwashi , has said.
They should thus be applauded for their efforts in climate change adaptation, mitigation and response.
Ms Mukwashi said this in her remarks during the commemorations of International Women’s Day at Victory Hall in Maseru on Tuesday.
She said, already, women in Lesotho had experienced the detrimental effects of heavy rains and droughts which negatively affected agriculture and food security.
“It is mostly women, particularly those in rural areas who feel the brunt as they are dependent on natural resources to sustain their families,” Ms Mukwashi said.
“While Lesotho is a minimum polluter, the effects of climate change are already visibly hard and are compounded by limited resources, HIV and AIDS, Covid-19 and other issues. Women have been the biggest causalities.
“I therefore, want to applaud the contribution of women and girls around the world and in Lesotho who are taking charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation and response and I want to encourage more women to join this movement.”
She called on the public to champion gender equality.
“I call upon women, men and all persons in Lesotho to champion equality….
“I also invite civil society organisations, the private sector and every Mosotho to partake in advocating for equality for a sustainable tomorrow together.”
The government must also speed up the enactment of the Counter Domestic Violence Bill, 2021, to protect the rights of women, she said.
“We need to place gender equality at the centre of our development efforts if we want to stand a chance at solving the many development challenges we have. Women have the capabilities, ideas, and leadership to solve them,” Mr Mukwashi said.