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"The Nigerian women and Stockholm Convention" - POPs related eco-hazards and their disproportionate effect on women can never be overemphasised

Article Punch magazine reflects importance of WEP and WECF Stakeholder consultation on gender meainstreaming in hazardous chemicals policy and waste management

20.01.2017 |




Greg Odogwu of Punch Magazine wrote this week: "Throughout my career as an environmentalist and environmental communicator, I have always had a sense of foreboding when I think of the danger our society faces because of the potential quagmire in the environmental pollution subsector. Things are not usually what they seem.

The pesticide you buy on the roadside to kill the cockroaches in your kitchen may turn out to be a slow-killing poison for the whole family. The fertiliser and the weed-killer the housewife applies to her garden may be a cancer-causing chemical, gradually seeping into the soil and the vegetables. That woman that decides to go straight to the abattoir to buy fresh cow meat from the butchers is definitely on a trip to inhale killer gas from the smoke of burning tyres used to skin the cow. What about the toxic bleaching creams? And, guess what? These dioxins are transferred to children through breast milk!"

This was why I was overjoyed when last week, January 12, 2017, the Nigeria-based NGO, Women Environmental Programme, in conjunction with Women Engage for a Common Future, Netherlands, invited stakeholders to a consultative forum on a gender-based implementation of the Stockholm Convention on POPs, in Abuja.  The vulnerability of women to POPs-related eco-hazard can never be overemphasised".

Read the full article from Punch here

WECF and its Nigerian partner WEP cooperate jointly in the five-year Framework Programme of the European Commission “Women 2030” on the gender-response implementation of the Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development. Based on their expertise, WECF and WEP have been asked by the Secretariat of the BSR Conventions under UNEP to conduct a scoping study in Nigeria which shows the initiatives and success stories related to gender mainstreaming in hazardous chemicals and waste management as addressed by the three conventions – Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions. The study will include surveys, consultations, discussions with key civil servants, experts and women and environmental civil society organisations, mapping of actors and waste sector, visits of sites. Information will be sought and coll ected from national and local authorities, intergovernmental organisations including international organisations and civil society organisations including women’s and environmental NGOs.

WECF was represented at the Abuja event by its Executive Director, Sascha Gabizon, who said they plan to reach out to the most vulnerable women like farmers who still use highly hazardous pesticides, while helping the country to fast-track adoption of organic alternatives.

 


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