The initiatives were part of the recommendations from the regional workshop conducted in Saly, Senegal, from February 6 to 8, according to a statement on the ECOWAS website.
Placing Women at the Center of the Transition to a Green Economy in West Africa was the focus of the ECOWAS Member-States Regional Technical Workshop. The workshop was one of several initiatives carried out by UN Women and ECOWAS to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment within the context of West Africa’s transition to a green economy, according to Regional Director of UN Women Elena Ruiz Abril.
In West Africa, women and girls already significantly impact the shift to a green economy through their work in vital industries, including forestry, agriculture, energy, solid waste management, and ecotourism. But as Ms. Abril noted, “the findings of a study by UN Women and the African Development Bank show that women are not well represented in sectors such as energy, infrastructure, and transport, where most green jobs or better green jobs will be created.”
However, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs, Fatou Sow Sarr, stated that the obstacles were still very significant and added that a sectoral examination of potential green work prospects for women was necessary. She explained that this was to educate policymakers on the proper gender-responsive strategy to be taken into account in legislation and to guarantee a smooth transition to green jobs.
To examine the role of women and girls in the shift to a green economy, the technical workshop gathered over 40 officials from ECOWAS regional agencies and member states. After the regional seminar, the ECOWAS Action Plan on Gender and Climate Change was adopted by the member states. This was consistent with Focus Area 2, which focused on the importance of women in Africa’s transition to a green economy.