African Youth Commission’s AACJ Communications officer Natalie Mukundane represented at the launch of the African Feminist Academy for Climate Justice (AFACJ), an intiative by FEMNET from 23 to 26 May 2022 at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra, Ghana.  

‘It was a refreshing feeling being in a safe space amongst fellow African women and girls in from a diversity of countries, having sincere and honest conversations regarding climate justice through a Pan-African feminist lens. I have no doubt that this Academy will be of great impact on many young girls on the continent affected by Climate Change!’ Said Natalie Mukundane.  

The theme for the launch was: “Reclaiming the Climate Justice Narrative for Africa.”  

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The objective of the academy is building collective power (power of knowledge) of African women and girls to advance climate justice, disrupt oppressive systems and recreate just, equal, and sustainable societies for people and the planet, Strengthen the capacity of Women's Rights Organizations (WRO), Girls, and Young Women organizations, GYWOs, female journalists and feminist activists, and groups on climate change issues in Africa using a feminist lens. 

Climate change is a global crisis that affects all people, but it disproportionately impacts vulnerable populations, including young girls in Africa. In Africa, girls are often marginalized and face unique challenges, and climate change exacerbates these challenges and disproportionately affects their lives. 

One of the major impacts of climate change on young girls in Africa is food insecurity. As temperatures rise and extreme weather events become more frequent, crop yields are likely to decrease, leading to food shortages and increased malnutrition. This disproportionately impacts young girls, who are often responsible for collecting water and firewood and caring for younger siblings, as they may have less time and energy to devote to these tasks due to hunger and malnutrition. 

Another impact of climate change on young girls in Africa is the increased risk of natural disasters. As climate change leads to more frequent and severe natural disasters, such as floods, droughts, and hurricanes, young girls in Africa are at increased risk of injury, displacement, and even death. These disasters can also disrupt education and increase the risk of violence and exploitation, particularly for girls who are forced to leave their homes or who are separated from their families. 

The impacts of climate change on young girls in Africa are not limited to the physical. The psychological and emotional effects of climate change can also be significant. The fear and stress of living with the constant threat of natural disasters, food insecurity, and other challenges can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. 

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In conclusion, the climate change crisis is having a significant and disproportionate impact on young girls in Africa, affecting their physical and mental health and well-being. It is crucial that we take urgent action to address this crisis and work to protect the most vulnerable members of our global community. 

 

By Natalie Mukundane  

ACCJ Communications Officer