It is rare that you see a women majority on a panel discussion. Audience applaud if there is at least a woman representative on a panel discussion, which meant that the organisers respect “diversity” and “inclusion”.
This is something I can relate to, having being invited and participated in a number of panel discussions this past one year. More often than not, I was the only girl in the panel. I can also safely say that I am always the youngest in the panel. Which had me thinking that there is a serious gap that needs to be addressed, both woman and youth participatory in forums and discussions.
I had a chance to discuss about this issue with Nisha Onta (second from right), Knowledge Management Coordinator of Women Organising for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN). Nisha is a gender and climate change expert who has engaged in research in South Asia and South East Asia related to climate change adaptation, livelihood diversification and gender and climate change.
“The main theory of change that we believe is working with collectives. Work with women’s group, provide them training. Implement strategies to scale up the issue, such as advocacy. Gender issue is a critical agenda. Ensure that plenary and sessions make a priority to discuss gender,” said Nisha.
She also added that it is important to network and be part of women organisations. It is imperative to have that support system, knowing that you are not alone in this cause.
Written by Jasmin Irisha Jim Ilham