How to mainstream gender in forestry. A practical field guide

About (English version): 

This gender mainstreaming guide has been designed to assist FAO technical officers, in particular officers working in forestry, to develop actions in forestry-related projects and programmes at headquarters and in all regions. An example of such an action would be to involve local women’s organizations as key stakeholders during the formation of a project or programme. This would allow the scope and focus of desired outcomes to be more representative of the women’s needs and ensure the pursuit of gender equality objectives. 

This guide is divided into three sections. The first section outlines an important starting point in the process: conducting a gender analysis. The gender analysis will help you assess the aspects related to gender in your work. It will also enable you to redress any shortcomings or inconsistencies in the design of your project or programme.

The second section identifies key opportunities for gender mainstreaming. Tangible steps on how to mainstream gender across four thematic areas - participation, capacity development, institution building, and sex-disaggregated data – are described.

The guide concludes with a discussion on follow-up actions and further resources that can help you put your project or programme into context. Using this guide, officers working on forest-related issues will be able to identify concrete actions to ensure that gender issues are integral components of projects and programmes, while determining when outside expertise is needed to achieve desired results. 

The gender-analysis process seeks to collect and interpret information concerning the different roles of women and men, while identifying their specific needs and priorities. By using this practical tool at the outset of a project or programme, you will be helping to ensure that men and women can participate equally and also derive equal benefits from the outcomes.

To adequately consider the potential engagement of women in activities, your analysis should begin with the following questions addressed to men and women and applicable at the household, local, national, regional and global levels (adapted from FAO, 2009):

• Who does what? How? Where? When? Why? (labour)
• Who uses what? How? Where? When? Why? (access)
• Who controls what? How? Where? When? Why? (power over decision-making and control) • Who knows what? How? Where? When? Why? (power over information)
• Who benefits from what? How? Where? When? Why? (benefit sharing)
• Who is included in what? How? Where? When and Why? (participation)

To guide answers to these questions, important information can be recorded in the figures presented in Annex 1, which can be used to undertake further research into specific gender dimensions of forestry activities. 

Once initial information from the questions is obtained, you should provide responses to the following enquiries to gain greater insights on gender in the relevant project or programme context:

1. What are the gender-related rights specific to your project or programme (i.e. on land use, water, etc.) in a given country or regional context? Are they unequal? How do unequal gender relations, gender discrimination, subordination and exclusion influence the denial of rights for men and women, boys and girls? How does this intersect with other areas of discrimination – based on ethnicity, culture, class, age, disability?

2. What data, particularly sex-disaggregated data, are available? Has data been collected from meetings, focus-group discussions, key informal interviews, discussions with different stakeholder groups? How do these data enable you to make informed decisions about gender during project or programme formulation? What are the missing data that prevent you from drawing conclusions on gender-related priorities in the project or programme context?

3. How will cultural and social gender norms (e.g. women’s limited access to markets) affect the achievement of sustainable and equitable results? If ‘business as usual’ continues in project or programme activities, how will the results affect the relative status of men and women? Will they exacerbate or reduce inequalities?

4. How can the project or programme integrate gender-related activities to help overcome norms or behaviours limiting the equal engagement of men and women? How can specific aspects of the project or programme include women and promote the equal engagement of men and women to change norms and improve the outcome of project or programme activities?

5. What are the work burden and time-use implications of the project or programme for women and men? Will additional activities place excessive burdens on women who already have substantial daily responsibilities? 


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