By Tendai Guvamombe

At least 30 climate change focal persons from various government ministries and agencies were trained on Gender Mainstreaming into Zimbabwe’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) implementation. The event was convened by the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry with support from Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) from 24 – 25 August 2022 in Bulawayo.

The latest move marks the commencement of gender mainstreaming in-line with the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Gender Action Plan, National Climate Policy, Zimbabwes Climate Change Gender Action Plan and other climate-related policies and strategies. The training of trainers enhanced use of the Gender and Climate Change Training Manual in the implementation of Zimbabwe’s NDC.

Director Climate Change Management Department, Mr Washington Zhakata giving remarks during Gender Mainstreaming into Zimbabwe’s NDC Workshop that was held in Bulawayo

Speaking to Spotlight Global News on the sidelines of the training workshop, Tariro Chipepera Director Community Development Department in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprise Development gave insights on the importance of having selected government institutions and the private sector embarking on the training on gender mainstreaming into NDC implementation.

“The training workshop targeted officials from government and quasi-government institutions that play a pivotal role to NDC implementation. These include ,Ministry of Environment, Climate Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Ministry of Womens Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development, Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development, Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority, Harare City Council, Bulawayo City Council and the Environmental Management Agency, Forestry Commission, Private sector, CSO and NGO representatives.”

Tariro Chipepera, Director Community Development Department in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small making a presentation during Gender Mainstreaming into Zimbabwe’s NDC Workshop

“Participants were acquainted with the gender concepts. Some of the topics covered include: Basic gender concepts; Gender and climate change; International, Regional and National Policy Framework for Mainstreaming Gender in Climate Change; Gender Mainstreaming Tools; Tools for assessing Gender Mainstreaming Results; Step by Step Entry Points for Mainstreaming Gender in Climate Change Projects, Programmes And Policies; Gender Mainstreaming in Adaptation Efforts; Gender-Sensitive Strategies for Mitigation Actions; Gender-Sensitive Strategies on Technological Development; and, Gender Responsive Budgeting and Climate Change Financing.”

According to Commissiner Naome Chimbetete, a Gender Expert with the Zimbabwe Gender Commission(ZGC), the engagement came as a fulfilment of the findings on Gender Analysis which informed the need to consolidate the works of both Gender Experts and those in the Climate Change space.

“The workshop was a fulfilment of the key findings on the gender analysis that we conducted which was based on issues of capacity building where we actually realized that there was lack of combined skills in Gender and Climate Change. Those in climate change had limited capacity, knowledge and appreciation on gender. Those from gender space had also limited capacity and knowledge with regards to climate change. This brought in the aspect of addressing climate change especially on issues around NDCs and those working in various areas of the NDCs such as the Energy, forestry and the Agricultural Sectors.”

Youths attending Gender Mainstreaming into Zimbabwe’s NDC Workshop

Commissioner Chimbetete added that there is still a lot that needs to be done in terms of championing a successful gender mainstreaming across societies at local levels. She further states that issues around gender and climate correlates as they are both identified in the National Development Strategy 1 as cross cutting issues.

“Going forward there is still a lot of capacities that needs to be built both in the Government and private sector given that in NDS1, gender and Climate Change are included under cross cutting issues and there is need to leave no one behind, everyone has a role to play. At local levels there is a need to look at local authorities including traditional leaders among them Chiefs and Headmen. Importantly, there is need to reach out to communities so that they understand the linkages between gender and climate change.”

Participants during Gender Mainstreaming into Zimbabwe’s NDC Workshop

COMESA Climate Change Officer, Lwembe Mwale said the regional bloc was delighted to support Zimbabwe’s gender mainstreaming into NDCs adding that the efforts will also go a long way in feeding into global efforts currently initiated by regional blocs such as SADC, UN Agencies and Development Partners and Climate Financing Institutions.

“COMESA is excited to participate in the very important workshop aimed at mainstreaming gender into the NDC of Zimbabwe. It is our hope that the technical and action points that emerged from the engagement will translate into actual implementation on the ground to ensure that the most vulnerable groups are not left behind in the NDC process. The engagement is not a stand alone national process but is feeding into regional, continental and global efforts initiatives on gender and climate change by organisations such as COMESA, SADC, African Union Commission, UNDP, UN Women, UNFCCC and World Bank, among many others.”