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International Women’s Day: Clean Cooking alliance harps on gender equality

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By Chuks Oyema-Aziken

To commemorate the 2022 International Women’s Day, the Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cooking (NACC) has called for progress in gender equality especially when it comes to the unpaid work and task associated with cooking.

March 8 is a day set aside to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women all over the world.

The theme for 2022 International Women’s Day is “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow” – a push for gender equality worldwide for a sustainable future.

The Alliance in a press release said, “Nigeria suffers a “silent” energy crisis – poor access to clean cooking energy.

“Over 20 million households and about 120 million Nigerians depend on wood primarily as a source of fuel for cooking. It is recognized that women disproportionately make up this number. This is despite the abundance of modern cooking energy sources including natural gas.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that cooking in an open fire releases harmful toxic (especially particulate matter and carbon monoxide), which causes about 95,000 deaths annually in Nigeria. After malaria and HIV/AIDS, this is Nigeria’s third highest killer of mostly women and children.

“Cooking in an open fire in your kitchen is also likened to burning 400 cigarettes an hour. Cooking inefficiently using the traditional method (open fire), causes pneumonia in children, low birth weight babies, still birth, lung diseases etc. Moreover, it is expensive, burning up to 90% more wood than is necessary and costing poor families money that could be put to better use on education, health and nutrition.

“The use of efficient and clean cookstoves saves lives, improves livelihood, empowers community and combats climate change. Enhancing access to clean cookstoves is linked with progress on the implementation of many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The Nigerian Alliance for Clean Cookstoves promotes the transition from the use of traditional three-stone stoves/open fire to higher levels of efficiency and cleaner cookstoves such as LPG, ethanol, electric, solar and efficient biomass stoves.”

“The Nigerian Alliance recognizes that when given the chance, women and girls, including those displaced by insurgency can do so much more with their time. A clean cookstove means new opportunities for women, within their families, their communities and the society at large. Inadequate access to clean cooking energy needs to be taken as a development priority and be tackled today”

“As we celebrate the International Women’s Day, NACC recommits and reaffirms support to all women who are striving to overcome energy poverty, especially women-led community groups and organizations, and women investors to ensure gender equality for a sustainable tomorrow and bring clean cooking solutions to everyone. Let us press for clean and safe cooking practices to prevent death and diseases for women and children, and accelerate the fight against cooking energy poverty.”

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