Gender Activities

Gender analysis and forestry international training package

FAO, through the Forests, Trees and People Programme (FTPP) has developed the Gender analysis and forestry international training package (GAFTP), published in 1995.

GAFTP consists of a series of simple training materials written for forestry policy-makers, managers, field staff and extension workers who may not be familiar with gender or social analysis. Gender analysis is a tool to diagnose the differences between women and men regarding their specific activities, conditions, needs, access to and control over resources and access to development benefits and decision-making; it entails collecting sex-disaggregated data and gender-sensitive information about the population. The FAO package is based on the experiences of foresters and trainers during the Gender Analysis and Forestry in Asia Training Activity in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand, carried out from 1991 to 1992, which consisted of a series of participatory workshops at the regional, national and local levels. The GAFTP offers a set of modules including both ready-to-use training materials (specific to gender and forestry) and training development materials (general guidelines). This package is providing the necessary knowledge to do a proper gender assessment and contributes to answering questions - Who collects the resources? How? Why? How are they controlled, managed and used? and by whom? - that are critical for sustainable forest management.

GAFTP has been translated into Spanish and adapted for Central America (Análisis de género y desarrollo forestal; Manual de capacitación y aplicación, Guatemala, 1999) and has been widely distributed in the region. A video was prepared in Guatemala (2001) to assist in the use of gender analysis in participatory rural appraisals and to help institutions using GAFTP in facilitation work with communities. An Arabic translation and validation, including specific case studies of the North-African and Near-East region, was finalized during 2001, in collaboration with the Centre of Development Services, Cairo, Egypt. A French adaptation of GAFTP for West and Central Africa was finished in 2002, based on the experiences of six countries in the region: Benin, Mali, Niger, Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Senegal (Analyse selon le genre dans la foresterie communautaire / gestion des resources naturelles, Benin, 2002).

Gender and forestry in Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States and North America

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)/FAO Team of Specialists on Gender and Forestry completed its mandate in June 2006 with the launch of its final report Time for action – changing the gender situation in forestry at the Gender and Forestry International Seminar held from 18 to 20 June 2006 in Umea, Sweden. This publication provides an overview of gender issues throughout the forestry sector in Europe and North America. It reviews gender structures in forestry organizations and forest ownership and examines gender-specific perceptions of forests and forestry. It also explores potential means and actions for improving gender balance in the forestry sector, and recommends that criteria and indicators be developed for measuring and monitoring changes in gender structures in the forestry sector.

During European Forest Week in 2008, the former Team of Specialists and FAO prepared a side-event to highlight the main issues covered in Time for action – changing the gender situation in forestry, and the recommendations that member countries should address. Central issues examined were gender structures in forestry organizations and forest ownership and gender-specific perceptions of forests and forestry.

To assess progress towards achieving the report’s recommendations, the former Team of Specialists, FAO and the Faculty of Forest Sciences of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences organized the second Gender in Forestry Conference – Making a Difference in Theory and Practice – held in Umea from 15 to 19 June 2009. Presentations highlighted the progress made, but also identified the challenges facing countries and the means and actions that have proved effective in addressing gender issues in forestry.

Gender and forestry in Africa

Following the successful outcome of the gender and forestry study by the ECE/FAO Team of Specialists, FAO undertook an assessment of the gender situation in forestry in Africa. This project was funded under the FAO Netherlands Partnership Programme and was a collaboration involving FAO, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO) and the University if Ghana. It focused on ten countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia. The objectives were to:

  • assess the gender balance and responsibilities in managing and using forest resources;
  • draft recommendations for enhancing women’s role in forest management and poverty reduction programmes;
  • provide a framework for the creation of women in forestry networks.

Country reports and a regional report were prepared, focusing on institutional mechanisms for improving the status of women, the gender situation and trends in community forestry management and formal forestry, and issues related to the development of a women in forestry network.

FAO and its partners organized a two-day regional workshop in November 2007. Participants discussed the issues arising from the reports, made recommendations for improving women’s inclusion in forest management, and provided a basis for creating local women in forestry networks.

Following up on the workshop recommendations, in 2008 FAO commissioned three country studies – Kenya, DRC and the United Republic of Tanzania – to assess the gender insensitivity of community/participatory forestry approaches. The country studies:

  • analysed the responsibilities and roles of women and men in participatory forestry programmes in each county;
  • undertook a gender analysis of the implementation and results at all intervention levels of these programmes;
  • elaborated specific recommendations for the programmes;
  • developed a gender-sensitive participatory forestry management model.

Gender in agriculture

FAO’s Forestry Department collaborated with the Gender, Equity and Rural Employment Division on Module 15: Gender and forestry of the Gender and agriculture sourcebook published in 2009. The sourcebook is a joint effort by the World Bank, FAO and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Module 15 includes two thematic notes on forests as safety nets:

  • gender, strengthening rights and reducing vulnerability;
  • agroforestry landscapes, gendered space, knowledge and practice (gendered space refers to the gender aspects of rights, access and tenure regarding agricultural land and the trees on that land).

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last updated:  Tuesday, January 25, 2011