37 Feminism, Forests and Food security

And women's important role in the development of sustainable management of the forest landscape, as well as the importance of forests for food supply globally.


  • Swedish Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
  • Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative
  • Vi Agroforestry We effect
  • CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees, and Agroforestry (FTA)
  • Stora Enso
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • Swedish Federation of Forest Owners


Globally, it is estimated that 1.6 billion people in varying degrees depend on forests for their livelihoods. Forests are safety nets for poor and rural communities where people can collect firewood and food, and it is often women who perform these forest-related chores. Gender, in this context, can be used as a cross-cutting issue to address the importance of forests for food security.
In Sweden, 38 % of the private forest is owned by women, while globally they are underrepresented in governing positions and ownership. Can Sweden's work for sustainable management of the forest landscape, together with the objectives of equality and women's empowerment, support sustainable development in the world?

In this CFS side session we highlight the sometimes ignored role of women in forest resource management. Gender roles play an important part in regulating access to resources, or shaping notions of who does what in the forest. Many times, products that are important to women are used in the household and do not generate substantial incomes, and are therefore underestimated in official statistics. We focus on the role of women, to highlight the importance of forests for food security in the poorest and most vulnerable areas of the world.