Forests serve not only as an essential carbon sink but also provide livelihoods, subsistence and income for more than 1.6 billion of the global poor. In fact, the poorest of the world’s poor are often people who rely on forests and disproportionately, these are women. 

Women and men frequently have differing roles, responsibilities and priorities in a community, as in their use, knowledge and experiences of forests. This can offer critical inputs to policy and field interventions that will enable the long-term success of REDD+ on the ground. However, social, economic, and cultural inequalities and legal impediments often mean the exclusion of women (and other marginalized groups, such as indigenous peoples, the poor, youth, and disabled) from full participation in REDD+. It is therefore crucial that deliberate and meaningful efforts are taken to ensure REDD+ actions are inclusive, fair and gender-responsiveboth in policy and in practice.

Gender equality and women's empowerment are demonstrated catalysts to achieving sustainable development, making these issues equally crucial to REDD+ success. FAO therefore supports countries to:

  • fully integrate gender equality into REDD+ mitigation actions;
  • realize gender-equality provisions in international agreements on REDD+; 
  • promote gender mainstreaming in all REDD+ activities, contributing to SDG #5 on gender equality.  

For practical guidance see FAO's How to Mainstream Gender in Forestry: a practical field guide and the UN-REDD Programme's Methodological Brief on Gender.