Girls In School Initiative, a member of MenEngage Uganda, embarked on a transformative journey during the MenEngage Symposium on Gender Equality. The symposium provided a unique platform for us to address critical issues affecting our work in the Island Fishing Communities of Lake Victoria, particularly in the context of climate justice and gender equality. In this blog post, we’ll take you through our experiences, the valuable insights we gained, and how we plan to leverage them to empowering Island Fishing Communities for Climate Justice and Gender Equality.
Empowering Girls Through Education
Girls In School Initiative is on a mission to advance girls’ education. The symposium’s focus on gender equality and transformative approaches resonated deeply with our organization. We gained valuable insights during Plenary 1’s discussion on intersectional feminist approaches, which can break down gender barriers hindering girls’ access to quality education.
Climate Resilience in Our Community
Our work in the Island Fishing communities exposes us to the harsh realities of climate change. Rising water levels in Lake Victoria result in increased flooding, directly affecting our community school. The symposium highlighted the intersection of climate change and gender justice. We learned about the disproportionate impact of climate change on vulnerable populations, including girls facing disrupted education due to flooding.
Strengthening Community Engagement
Our symposium experiences reinforced the importance of community engagement in addressing climate-related challenges. The breakout sessions on Gender Transformative Approaches (GTA) and Accountability skills-building equipped us with tools to engage our community in resilience efforts. Involving men and boys in understanding the link between climate change and gender equality will be a crucial aspect of our work moving forward.
Declaration for a Resilient Future
One of the most significant takeaways from the symposium is the declarations that will emerge during the closing ceremony. These declarations will not only commit to gender equality but also advocate for resilience. They serve as a call to action for organizations like ours to integrate resilience strategies into our local initiatives, especially in the face of flooding that threatens our school.
Integration into Local Initiatives
Our participation in the MenEngage Symposium is not an isolated event; it’s an integral part of our journey towards gender equality and resilience in Lake Victoria’s fishing communities. The knowledge, experiences, and declarations from the symposium will be seamlessly integrated into our ongoing projects and future plans. They will be the driving force behind our commitment to empower girls, achieve gender equality, and build resilience against the challenges posed by climate change and flooding.
Attending the MenEngage Symposium has been a transformative journey for Girls In School Initiative. It has expanded our horizons, provided us with global perspectives on gender equality and resilience, and connected us with a network of passionate advocates. As we return to the Island Fishing communities of Lake Victoria, we do so with renewed vigor and determination. The symposium was not just an event; it was a pivotal chapter in our ongoing mission to create a more equitable and resilient world for girls and women in our community, even in the face of climate change, flooding, and their gender-specific challenges.