K4L discusses gender & climate on IWD
On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2023, Kick4Life staff, volunteers and participants discussed how climate change affects women across the world, especially in Africa, and how the world can act against climate change to safeguard the lives of women and girls.
The group discussed various challenges related to the role that women in Lesotho often play as sole securers of food and resources, such as firewood, in the home, noting the impacts of climate change caused by droughts, flooding and wild fires. They also discussed the impacts on mental health, sexual exploitation and research showing that extreme heat can increase chances of still birth for pregnant women.
The Kick4Life stakeholders also explored the day’s theme of gender equity more broadly, before playing a mixed-gender tournament which provided a further platform for dialogue between young men and young women, challenging gender discrimination and gender-based violence, and promoting gender equality on the pitch as a microcosm for all areas of society.
Talking about the importance of this day, Kick4Life's Director of Women’s Programmes, ‘Maphoka Ramokoatsi, said, ‘We realise that vulnerable girls and women are disproportionally impacted by climate change and it is important for us to consider how these issues can be addressed. Gender roles and norms have restricted women from achieving their potential for a very long time, and society has normalised stereotypes that prohibit them from contributing to the world in many ways.'
Kick4Life Co-founder Steve Fleming added, "The work of Kick4Life through programmes such as Girls United will continue working to address these issues, and we are pleased to be working in partnership with Coaches Across Continents this year on a Gender and Climate project through which we are integrating climate education sessions within our Football for Good curricula'.