Women at the heart of the project

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It is about 9:00 am on April 13, 2022, when Aminata Ouedraogo, leaves her home with a smile on her face. As part of the BenkadiBurkina project, she has just been chosen from among several women leaders of associations to take part in a training session on gender and climate change in the town of Kaya, about 100 kilometers from the capital Ouagadougou. The ambition of the project in Burkina Faso is that "communities vulnerable to the effects of climate change, particularly women, youth and people living with disabilities in Burkina Faso, realize their right to development and are resilient to climate change." - 

About fifty leaders of women's associations came to the conference room in Kaya, in order to benefit from a reinforcement of their skills on various themes. These are gender, environmental protection and climate change.

The Benkadi Project places women, youth and vulnerable people at the heart of this fight against the harmful effects of climate change. According to Clarisse Tiemtoré, Gender and Inclusion Expert of the Benkadi Project, this training was a necessity. "We all know that in Burkina Faso, as elsewhere in the Sahel, it is most often the underprivileged social categories, especially women, youth and the disabled, who are most affected by the adverse effects of climate change. Our country has made a firm commitment to contribute to the global effort to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) by adopting its first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). As part of the process of revising this NDC, a study was carried out, the results of which show that all the key sectors of the NDC studied present, in a transversal manner, differences and inequalities between men and women in all the dimensions of gender analysis. There is also a lack of integration of gender issues in the legal and policy instruments that frame climate action in Burkina Faso."».

For Aminata and the other ladies, this training came at the right time. It sheds new light on current notions and on the conduct to be adopted by each one to preserve the environment. "Thanks to this training initiated by the Benkadi project, I have a better understanding of the concept of gender; it takes into account the contribution of men and women to build a harmonious society in the complementarity of both sexes," she confides.  Aminata Ouedraogo thus feels valued and intends to share the knowledge she has acquired with the sixty women's groups she supervises. "I am in charge of a women's group with about 1800 members. I have to share this experience with them. We also intend to participate in the effort to question the authorities on the urgency to take courageous decisions to protect our environment."».

At the end of the training, Aminata Ouedraogo and her fellow learners intend to play a leading role in the fight to mitigate the effects of climate change.

It should be noted that, like the training session held in Kaya, a similar session was also organized in Banfora in the Cascades region with the same energy and commitment. This is only the beginning, we could say, because the Benkadi project intends, through capacity building actions, to give impetus to a better female dynamic for a more promising fight on the climate issue. It is therefore a whole team that is being put in place.

Proportionately, Wagari Mataï, a Kenyan Nobel Prize winner for her environmental work, could inspire others in Burkina Faso. "Let us plant trees and the roots of our future will sink into the ground and a canopy of hope will rise to the sky.  Every tree is a living symbol of peace and hope," said the Amazon.

De Victor Komondi
Expert Communication et Plaidoyer
Projet Benkadi Burkina Faso
Mail : victorkom@gmail.com

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