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PMC-Zambia’s Journey Toward COP28

Dec 01, 2023

Empowering Women, Combating Climate Change, and Promoting Sustainable Development

As we stand on the threshold of COP28, the urgency of addressing climate change, population growth, and women’s rights in the context of sustainable development cannot be overstated. These interconnected issues demand immediate and comprehensive action. As the Country Director of Population Media Center (PMC) Zambia, I wish to share some key messages, recommendations, and insights from our work on the ground. 

The Burden on Women: At the heart of the climate change crisis lies the resilience of women. In many societies, women shoulder the responsibility of caring for their families, securing food, water, and energy, and maintaining their communities’ well-being. However, climate change exacerbates their burdens, subjecting them to floods, droughts, and resource scarcity. Their rights often receive inadequate attention, leaving them vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies and limited opportunities for empowerment.  

Technological Solutions and Behavior Change: If I could magically impart one belief to everyone at COP28, it would be the unwavering faith in our capacity to combat global warming. With the technological advancements at our disposal and those yet to be developed, and the ability for behavior change across people, companies, and governments, reversing the course of climate change is within our grasp. All we need is a steadfast commitment to collective action. 

PMC Zambia’s Contribution: PMC-Zambia has dedicated over five years to empowering women, adolescents, young people, and men to make informed decisions about family planning, reproductive health, civic engagement, and combating human trafficking. Our approach utilizes Entertainment-Education, employing storytelling to drive social and cultural change while addressing the interconnected issues of women’s rights, population, and the environment. We catalyze massive change by impacting these issues where it matters most – in people’s hearts and minds

We prioritize: 

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The time for action is not tomorrow; it is yesterday. Policymakers, global leaders, and stakeholders must recognize the crucial role of women in climate adaptation and mitigation efforts.

Engaging Communities and Stakeholders: PMC-Zambia deeply engages with local communities and stakeholders, including religious and traditional leaders, to promote climate action and gender equality. Our work is not imposed but is built on trust and collaboration, ensuring that our messages resonate. 

The Power of Storytelling and Media: Storytelling and media play a pivotal role in inspiring climate action and gender equality. Our projects ensure that the stories we tell are relatable, addressing the real issues that communities face daily. We empower individuals and communities to adopt positive behaviors by providing solutions in our narratives. 

Lessons for COP28: Our experiences in Zambia can serve as a model for COP28. By prioritizing the empowerment of women, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education, and community engagement, we demonstrate how addressing these interconnected issues can lead to global sustainability. 

As we head into COP28, let us recognize that the intersection of population, climate change, and women’s rights is not a distant concern but a present and urgent challenge. PMC-Zambia remains committed to playing its part in addressing these issues, and we call upon policymakers, global leaders, and stakeholders to join us in this vital journey toward a sustainable future. The time to act is now, and the time to act together is today.