USAID Mission Director in Egypt Leslie Reid said that women face inequalities in combating climate change while bearing the brunt of its effects, especially in terms of high rates of violence against women and economic security, particularly for those who depend on natural resources to support their homes.
She added that, therefore, the need to hear the voice of women and women in leadership positions should be emphasised when it comes to climate action.
This came during a workshop within the activities of the Egypt Forum for International Cooperation and Development Finance in which Reid stressed that empowering women is one of the most important priorities of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), stating that the US government prioritises climate action initiatives in terms of funding women’s empowerment programmes and the Presidential Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience that supports nearly 500 million people around the world in countries most at risk due to climate change.
The USAID is also implementing a gender-sensitive strategy that prioritises empowering women in climate action, explaining that the agency implements programmes in health, education, entrepreneurship, economic growth, and governance that focus on women having the skills, knowledge, and opportunities to be leaders of change.
To close that gap, Reid said that all must focus on supporting female leaders and reducing the barriers they face in the workplace, in their communities, and in schools.
“We cooperate closely with the Ministry of International Cooperation and the National Council for Women, and we have some other partnerships. In preparation for the climate conference, we have prepared — in cooperation with the Egyptian government — the Youth Climate Change Conference, which is a simulation of the UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change (COP27) to raise awareness and promote dialogue on climate change.”