Empowering rural women to achieve sustainable wildlife management

The SWM Programme developed gender-sensitive indicators to track progress and ensure that activities will benefit women and men equally.

Photo © Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)/Thomas Nicolon, 2019

Women and girls are at the heart of rural communities worldwide. Their contribution to ending poverty and ensuring food security is fundamental.  They also play a critical role in natural resource management and can influence how their communities hunt and fish, improve sanitation, protect habitats and comply with conservation laws.

Women make up 43 per cent of the global agricultural labour force, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). Nevertheless, their role is often invisible due to discriminatory social norms and lack of access to land, forest rights and decision-making processes.

Since 2018, the EU co-funded Sustainable Wildlife Management (SWM) Programme has been working with rural communities to improve wildlife conservation and food security in 15 countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.

This article gathers together the voices of gender experts working for the SWM Programme in Papua New Guinea, Congo and Guyana. The aim is to present their diverse experiences on effectively mainstreaming gender in project activities, and to inspire other development practitioners with the good practices they have been implementing.

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