REDD+ Stakeholders Calling for Greater Leadership by Women to Face Cultural Norms and Recognize Women’s Role in Forest Management
On 27 September, over 35 experts from national government institutions, CSO, local communities and development partner organizations gathered in Phnom Penh, Cambodia to discuss and identify priority actions for ensuring greater inclusion of women and gender perspectives in Cambodia’s REDD+ readiness process.
The dialogue was hosted by the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and organized as part of the Regional Joint Initiative by the UN-REDD Programme, USAID-funded Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forest (LEAF) and Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resources Management (WOCAN) to help countries in Asia consider women’s inclusion in REDD+ a priority. The goal of the Initiative is to enhance the overall effectiveness of REDD+ through greater inclusion of women and gender perspectives in all relevant policies and practices. This work is part of the on-going effort in helping countries establish effective REDD+ safeguards.
Experts at the dialogue to discuss and identify priority actions for ensuring greater inclusion of women and gender perspectives in Cambodia’s REDD+ readiness process.
Prior to this dialogue, a national level study was conducted by WOCAN’s team to examine challenges and barriers that prevent the integration of gender perspectives in REDD+, to present relevant evidence of good practices for women’s inclusion from the forest and other land use sectors, and to share knowledge for replication of successful practices.
Among the study findings and recommendations, the participants identified the most important barriers at the institutional and policy level as cultural norms, lack of recognition of women as stakeholders, lack of women’s representation, and lack of financial commitments for the issue. Whereas, the critical barriers identified at the community level were slightly different from those of the institutional and policy level and understandably more linked to the livelihood aspects to point to limited income generation opportunities for women, having too few women leaders and cultural norms at the household and community levels.
To address these barriers, the participants selected the following existing good practices in the country to be replicated at the policy/institutional and/or community levels.
- Financial commitments at the institutional level to implement gender policies and gender working groups on thematic issues;
- Promotion of women’s leadership and gender champions to develop positive role models;
- Creation of women’s networks and federations to mainstream gender concerns in decision making and provide opportunities for skills building and learning;
- Provision of support for skills building for women through education and training to effectively engage in economic opportunities and decision making; and
- Ensuring women’s participation by mandating quota for women’s participation, promoting gender sensitive facilitation of meetings, and hiring of female workers in traditionally male-dominant sectors.
These priority barriers and potential solutions will be presented to the country’s REDD+ Task Force for its consideration and action as part of its REDD+ readiness process.
Cambodia is one of the three study countries selected by this Initiative to examine country specific circumstances and needs based on findings of a regional scoping study, identifying enabling conditions that support women’s inclusion in the forest sector, and best practices for women’s inclusion from various national resources sectors. This multi-scalar process begun with the global dialogue on “Exclusion and Inclusion of Women in the Forest Sector” organized by WOCAN and The Forest Dialogue in Nepal in 2012. This Initiative will conclude at a regional meeting on gender in REDD+ early next year to share lessons this process.
Please click here for the draft Cambodia report.
For more information, please contact: Aki Kono, Regional Technical Advisor, UNDP/UN-REDD.