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2. Background


2. Background

This document is a report on the Sub-regional Training Course on Women and Wood Energy Development which took place at FAO - RAPA, Bangkok, from 27 November to 1 December 1995. The training course was organised by the RWEDP. Training Course participants were invited from the RWEDP-member countries in South Asia - Bangladesh, Bhutan, indict, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The course was meant for higher and middle-level staff from institutions and departments connected with wood energy planning, policies and strategies. Participants were from the forestry sector, energy sector, teaching institutes and NGOs, linking to the implementer level of projects and programmes. Two-thirds of the participants were women.

The Training Course was a follow-up to the Regional Expert Consultation on Gender and Wood Energy in Asia held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in June 1995. At this Consultation the following RWEDP Policy Statement was discussed and endorsed by the participants.

2.1. RWEDP policy statement on gender and wood energy

Observations

The burden of providing traditional energy supplies for domestic use is commonly the responsibility of women. General trends towards higher woodfuel prices, lower woodfuel quality and reduced access to woodfuels increases their burden. Interventions in the energy sector such as landuse and fuel price reform often have disproportionately negative implications for women, especially those in the lower income groups. They have as yet insufficiently benefitted from the potential that wood energy development offers. In many countries of Asia the concerns of women are under-represented in shaping wood energy policies and strategies.

It is widely recognised that wood energy plays a part in the reproductive tasks that most women carry out, that is to say in the maintenance of the household. The development of cheap (or less time-consuming) and sustainable access to sources of wood energy and of woodfuel efficient cooking and heating devices will be of direct benefit to women in this role. But women increasingly also have energy needs in their productive, bread-winning tasks. Many women today depend on wood or other biomass energy for independent commercial activities such as food preparation for sale, or are employed in establishments which operate on a wood fuel base. Others are economically dependent on trading in fuelwood and charcoal. Moreover, where firewood is being sustainably produced either in woodlots or by planned off-take and management of natural forests by local communities, women very certainly are involved. The need to understand and to relate to women's needs in regard to these matters is thus of central importance in wood energy planning at all levels.

Policy

While appreciating that special projects specifically targeted at women can be beneficial in certain instances, RWEDP maintains that women's interests in the wood energy field can best be served by adopting a gender approach across all its activities. In this, women's role in wood energy supply and use is not considered separately but viewed in relation to men's (and children's) roles. The crucial factors to consider here are, who does what, and why; and who has access to and control over the sources of wood energy. This type of analysis needs to be applied both to the existing situation and to the implications of any planned wood energy interventions. Such types of gender analysis will provide the basis for the planning of ameliorative measures where necessary.

Discussion on the best ways of formulating and implementing gender policies led to the following recommendations:

Objectives

It was with this background that the Training Course was conducted. The general objective was to familiarise trainees with the use of gender analytic tools and review and assess their appropriateness. The specific objective was to provide trainees with the means to select, modify or design operational procedures to ensure that gender issues are covered in project design, appraisal, implantation and evaluation processes.

Course Contents

The main subjects covered in the course programme (all with respect to wood energy) were:

Along with expert inputs from the resource persons there were a number of case studies which the participants analyzed as a group exercise. A number of videos were also shown to the participants.

2.2. Programme

The Training Course Programme was as follows:

Monday 27 November

 

09.00-10.15

Opening ceremony

10.15-10.45

Coffee break

10.45-12.00

Objectives and programme of the course Results of Chiang Mai Workshop Statements

12.00-13.30

Lunch break

13.30-14.00

Video "Gender analysis for forestry development planning", FAO

14.00-15.00 :

Case study/exercise

15.00-15.30 :

Tea break

15.30-17.00 :

Case study/exercise (continued)

Tuesday 28 November

 

09.00-10.15

Placing gender

10.15-10.45

Coffee break

10.45-12.00

Gender concepts

12.00-13.00

Lunch break

13.00-13.30

Video "Community Forestry in Nepal"

13.30-15.00

Personal awareness of gender

15.00-15.30

Tea break

15.30-17.00

Case study: Stove Dissemination Programme, Sri Lanka

Video on same topic

Wednesday 29 November

 

09.00-10.15

Gender analysis field tools

10.15-10.45

Coffee break

10.45-12.00

Gender analysis field tools (continued)

12.00-13.00

Lunch break

13.00-13.30

Video: PRA for Community Forestry

13.30-15.00

Gender analysis tools

15.00-15.30

Tea break

15.30-17.00

Gender analysis tools (continued)

Thursday 30 November

 

09.00-10.15

Adapting existing checklists

10.15-10.45

Coffee break

10.45-12.00

Adapting existing checklists (continued)

12.00-13.00

Lunch break

13.00-13.30

Video: Improved Stoves Programme in Bangladesh

13.30-15.00

Video: Agricultural research with women farmers, ICRISAT

15.00-15.30

Tea break

15.30-17.00

Group exercises: Applying checklists to project cases

Friday 1 December

 

09.00-10.15

Presentations of group exercises

10.15-10.45

Coffee break

10.45-12.00

Review outlines of RWEDP gender training modules

12.00-13.00

Lunch break

13.00-15.00

Evaluation, conclusions, recommendations

15.00-15.30

Tea break

15.30-16.30

Closing session

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