According to Project Drawdown, educating women and girls is the sixth most important action the world can take to mitigate climate change. Women and girls who are educated have more control to actively manage their reproductive health, realize higher wages and experience greater upward mobility, leading to overall economic growth. Educated women and girls can then be more effective stewards of their land and water, and gain greater capacity to adapt to shocks of natural disasters and extreme weather events driven by climate change. This can be seen on the ground clearly in Northern Tanzania.
Northern Tanzania’s rangelands stretch across more than seven million acres and are home to migrating wildlife, as well pastoralists and hunter-gatherer tribes who have lived on this landscape for thousands of years. But important wildlife corridors that help animals move between wet and dry season habitats are being squeezed as human populations grow.
Women play critical roles in food production and land management and their lack of knowledge about their rights to this land poses a threat to the health of their families and the wildlife who depend on a healthy landscape. Studies have shown that when women have secure land rights, they have higher economic gain, the land is more efficiently used and agricultural investment and production increased. This proves true not just for Tanzania, but other African countries as well. In Rwanda, for example, 19 percent of women with formalized rights engaged in soil conservation, compared to just 10 percent of men with the land rights.