Tue. Jul 16th, 2019

"The most important thing is to empower the women of the town" | Society

"The most important thing is to empower the women of the town" | Society

Bahijjahtu Abubakar, expert in developing responses to mitigate the effects of climate change with a gender perspective, celebrates that hundreds of thousands of young people from all over the world this week they went to the streets against climate change. He tells this Saturday before intervening in the IX Meeting Women Transforming the World, organized by the City of Segovia, where activists and advocates of human rights, the environment or peace.

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Abubakar is the founder of Ruwes (Rural Women's Energy Security), an initiative born of the need to save lives and land and improve the economy by eradicating energy poverty among women in rural towns in Africa Sub-Saharan She believes that "there is hope" to curb climate change and argues that the future must be in the hands of women. She is convinced that African men are going to join women in this fight for the environment. According to him, men have seen that they receive money and financial incentives that allow them to access ecological ovens that avoid pollution and health problems caused by fumes.

With Ruwes, he has embarked on a crusade that has already benefited more than 300,000 women of two million registered. Abubakar says that Nigerians cook three times a day in a closed space. In addition, logging for firewood is increasing desertification by about 0.6 kilometers per year. "These women have to go farther and farther to get firewood and, when they leave, they violate them on the way. You can not say anything, there is no custom in Africa to talk about these things, you can not imagine the life they lead, go for firewood, rape them and return to the kitchen and inhale smoke as if smoking 20 packs of cigarettes (...) Also, when they have a baby they tie him to the back and the child inhales the same, the fetus also suffers when they are pregnant, because it affects the development of the brain ".

Abubakar also coordinates the Renewable Energy Program of the Federal Ministry of the Environment in Nigeria. And he began to promote the creation of centers to train women in the assembly of ecological ovens, after going to India to know this technology, which also means a way to economize the wood because you need to burn less quantity.

Then there are other ovens, with more advanced technology, which even incorporate a sim card (smart card like the one that mobile phones carry) to transmit the data of the hours they cook. Bahijjahtu Abubakar maintains that they are installed thanks to donations and the agreement with a US company, apart from benefiting from part of the proceeds with the fines imposed on the developed countries that pollute the most, as the Paris Agreement sets out. These facilities need little wood and can be fed with agricultural waste or recycled compacted paper, which in many cases is facilitated by embassies, a practice that was initiated by the United States in Abuja. What they do not use in the kitchen they sell in the market.

When asked how they receive in their country the work they do, after clarifying that as a woman has worked hard to stimulate interest in this problem that affects the health of the human being, jocularly states: "Some want to shoot me." "Women adore me. I have had invitations to leave Nigeria and become CEO of an international organization, but I do not want to leave them, people trust me because I have entered their kitchens to explain the problem, they have learned how to assemble the ovens, together with their daughters. The most important thing is to empower the village woman with information, financing and technology. "

Mothers against radicalization

Nadia Remadna is an Algerian family activist, mother of four children. In 2014 he founded La Brigade des Mères (The Brigade of Mothers), an association to protect young people from radicalized environments, against school failure and domestic violence. He has also participated in the meeting in the old prison of Segovia turned into a creation center.

Nadia Remadna, this Saturday in Segovia.
Nadia Remadna, this Saturday in Segovia.

He relates his experience in the 93rd district of Seine-Saint Denis, in Paris, where ISIS recruits its members among children of Arab emigrants. "The situation in some neighborhoods of the periphery is very difficult, do not take it lightly. There are many young people who have gone to Syria, many converts, and every time there are more girls with veils. But politicians do not intervene, they act for electoral and financial interests. In France we do not know how to handle the urgency, there is a great political cowardice. At first, they thought there were going to be a few [jóvenes] to make war on Syria, but now we have the problem of those who want to return and those who have radicalized staying in France. "

Remadna argues that the role of women is fundamental to avoid radicalization "because it is the first victim, the protector of their children. But there are many who are afraid to speak, there is great family and social pressure. " He demands that more people join the cause and laments: "We can not do it alone, the problem is that we have a policy in front of us that does not move. In France we like to give lessons, but we have no choice but to fight against it [la radicalización] because the future of our children and grandchildren depends. "

At the Encounter of Women Transforming the World, Russian Svetlana Gánnushkina, several times candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, fighter against xenophobia and intolerance; Carmen Avendaño, a Spanish courageous mother who rose up against the narcos who stole the lives of her children in the past eighties and nineties; Mayerlis Angarita, peace activist in Colombia, or veteran reporters Rosa María Calaf and Carmen Sarmiento.


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