Actress and humanitarian Joselyn Dumas, has called for an inclusive approach to dealing with issues of climate change.
The actress noted that climate change is not gender based but rather cancer that affects all irrespective of gender.
She made the call during the plenary session on ‘Rights to Equality: Gender Inclusion’ at the just ended Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) in Bonn, Germany.
Joselyn Dumas, a strong advocate for child rights and equal opportunities for all, believes that a lot more needs to be done on the education front to encourage and achieve inclusiveness.
The actress runs the Joselyn Canfor-Dumas Foundation (JCD Foundation), which focuses on children’s rights protection and also champions youth education and empowerment initiatives where environmental protection issues are concerned.
Speaking at the event, Joselyn Dumas said, “Climate Change is not gender-biased. The education and awareness creation should be more inclusive and if we want to practice efficient, equitable and sustainable climate change actions, then we must make gender equality a priority by steering the conversation to first sensitise whilst facing the confronts of preserving the traditional believes of a cultural society.”
The 2014 Ghana Movie Awards ‘Best Actress in a Leading Role’ has over the years worked and championed environmental protection initiatives such as #XCholera, Climate Change and Plastic Waste Management in Africa.
These campaigns educate Ghanaians and Africans on the need to commit to practical and achievable living standards such as keeping clean environments, reducing the use of plastic bags such as shopping with baskets and jute bags and also making efforts to recycle plastics by reusing water bottles among others.
During a dialogue session, Joselyn was asked: “Working in environments of children with distinctive tradition, affected by the uprising climate inactions, how does the growing tide on gender equality impact cultural change?”
The actress responded that: “Growing up in Ghana and in other parts of Africa we are told a girl is to be seen and not heard and that has been a part our culture, but I am happy to say that that has changed over the years as we are seeing and hearing more women now. The world is now a global village and thanks to social media and initiatives such as the “me too movement” and other campaigns in the western world, women are more vocal about issues.”
She added that “Three girls from one of the regions in Ghana are missing which started a hashtag #BringBackTheTaadiGirls which is evidence that we are using social media as a tool for change as well. To be fair, a lot of women are more outspoken now more than before and my only fear is that, as we’re empowering the women we should be careful not to leave the boys behind.”
“We are empowering the girls, making them speak up, make their voices heard but I feel we are putting too much focus on the girl child when it needs to be more inclusive because we don’t want to raise women of power who the men may not be able to match up to in the future. So for me, in order to even combat this whole climate inaction issue, we need to involve both genders. The education must be inclusive and I see that happening but there’s a lot more work to be done,” Joselyn concluded.
GLF is the world’s largest knowledge-led platform connecting people with a shared vision to create productive and resilient landscapes. This year’s two-day forum was held from June 22 to June 23.