FAO initiative validates new advocacy strategy to boost women’s capacities to scale up gender-responsive policy making


©FAO/Roberto Cenciarelli25 May 2023, Rome - A new advocacy strategy to scale up dryland women’s participation in climate change policy discussions was officially validated by WeCaN members at the initiative’s first Global Gathering today.

WeCaN is an FAO platform for women’s empowerment in dryland forests and agrosilvopastoral areas. It is a South-South knowledge sharing space for women to connect, exchange best practices and get involved in events and WeCaN trainings designed to boost communication and advocacy skills.

The advocacy strategy lays out a clear action plan to enable women-led organizations to put their advocacy skills into practice, formulate clear policy demands, choose the correct target audience and work together through South-South knowledge sharing to make their voices heard at local, national and international levels.

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In dryland areas, where droughts and land degradation have dramatically altered the local landscape, women are often responsible for growing food, collecting water and sourcing firewood for their families.

Climate change is making these jobs significantly harder, yet women are often excluded from decision-making processes that address these issues.

"Women hold unique knowledge of agroforestry, biodiversity conservation and adaptation, and have developed location-specific and gender-just solutions to increase resilience,” said Zhimin Wu, Director of FAO’s Forestry Division.

Building a solution together

Recognizing women as land managers and holders of ecological knowledge can empower them and enhance their recognition and social standing within their communities. Equally, equitable participation in decision-making processes and restoration initiatives results in broader local buy-in and enhanced capacities, with improved prospects for both human and socio-economic development and positive environmental outcomes.

The new Advocacy Roadmap 2023 - 2027 lays out a concrete path forward to ensure WeCaN members' requests, policy demands, and needs are considered in main climate related decision-making and negotiation processes.

Steps include creating partnerships with other like-minded organizations and further developing the exchange of South-South knowledge, analysis and statistics to strengthen gender responsive advocacy work in the climate change arena over the next four years.

“WeCaN is an excellent example of South-South and Triangular Cooperation. With strong commitment from FAO, I hope this important initiative will be further strengthened to promote grass-roots collaboration among countries,” said Anping Ye, Director of FAO’s South-South and Triangular Cooperation Division.

WeCaN activities

Since 2021, WeCaN has built women’s negotiation, gender mainstreaming and advocacy skills through online training, so they can successfully articulate their demands and address them to the right audience.

WeCan has developed a close community that promotes South-South knowledge dissemination, empowering women to synergize their advocacy efforts for climate justice.

WeCaN has supported members in attending high-level fora including the United National Convention to Combat Desertification (COP 15) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 27).

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last updated:  Thursday, May 25, 2023