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Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda, says women are among those most impacted by the fallout from disasters caused by climate change.

The Minister was addressing the opening ceremony of the ‘Peer Learning Summit: Gender-Responsive National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Processes’, which was held at the Iberostar Resort in Montego Bay, St. James, on Tuesday (July 26).

“Our women in Jamaica are over-represented in the agricultural [sector], particularly in small farming with its heavy reliance on natural resources and heavy emphasis on self-employment. They are also disproportionately represented in the informal economy, with underpaid jobs with little security and no benefits such as health care and union representation,” Mr. Samuda outlined.

“The informal and agricultural sectors are usually the most impacted by severe weather and climatic events, thus women become over-represented among the unemployed following disaster, creating greater share of microeconomic impact,” he added.

Co-hosted by the NAP Global Network and the Government, with funding from Global Affairs Canada, the Peer Learning Summit aims to strengthen the NAP processes in these countries by sharing knowledge on gender-responsive approaches.

A gender-responsive NAP process seeks to actively promote gender equality throughout adaptation planning, implementation, and efforts to track progress.

Mr. Samuda noted that the Jamaican Government has been taking action to ensure that the island is more climate resilient.

“It is important that we acknowledge that the climate has already changed, and weather patterns have already changed. Adapting to the challenges posed by climate change and building a climate-resilient future will be no small feat for the nations represented in this room,” he said.

“The Jamaican Government is, indeed, taking action and has successfully accessed financing through GCF (Global Climate Fund) to commence preparation on Jamaica’s first adaptation plan,” Senator Samuda noted.

The three-day summit concludes on Thursday (July 28).

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