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Gender Mainstreaming in REDD

Cập nhật ngày:  02/11/2010
The full potential of forests in addressing poverty and climate change concerns cannot be grasped without an understanding of the gender differentiated rights, roles and responsibilities related to women’s and men’s use of forest and forest resources.

Women play a prominent role in the individual household and at community level. Decisions within households are most often depending on the ideas and cooperation of the women, e.g. with reference to use of cooking stoves, use of non-forest products to replace use of forest products – e.g. biogas systems, agricultural residue utilization –  or options for income generation not based on use of forest products. How the financial resources committed to REDD are managed, delivered and structured plays a key role in determining how men and women benefit from REDD initiatives.

Voice up!  (Photo by Pham Tien Anh)

Women’s roles in forest management are usually limited to those of subsistence needs for fuel wood, medicinal products, wild foods, fodder for livestock, and selling small quantities of fuel wood in local markets; while men’s roles are more likely to be linked to timber and non-timber forest products extraction for commercial purposes. Moreover, women’s absence or ineffective participation in local, provincial and national structures for forest management, combined with their lack of power, reduce their opportunities to challenge the claims of other actors, or to demand their rights to these resources.
Women are on a global basis commonly without any formal rights to land or forests. The differentiation by gender has major implications for ownership to forest land and by-products that affect the selection of species for planning and forest management decisions. When a price is put on the carbon content of a forest, incentives for land acquiring and exploitation surge. Subsequently, women without official land titles or user rights are barred from their traditional forest areas. According to the Land Law from 2003, the Red Book land tenure certificates can now be signed by both husband and wife. Still, this is not yet common practice.
Women and men derive different values from forests. Any incentive scheme that favors the carbon value of ecosystems more than other values may lead to serious negative impacts on food and water sovereignty, access to traditional medicines and seeds, and other socio-economic, cultural, spiritual and ecological values of forests, which often relate to the activities that women undertake in the forest.

The UN-REDD Programme aims to integrate women in the operation of the National REDD Programme and the planning and implementation of the activities at commune and village level. In particular, the benefit distribution system will incorporate a gender perspective, to ensure that the needs of women, who frequently form a marginalized group in the forest sector, are taken into account, and that REDD+ can act as an impetus to improved gender equality. Thus, benefits made to households and communities should include safeguards to ensure gender equality. Strategies to close the gender gap must not take the perspective that women are unfortunate victims of climate change, but instead view women as potentially powerful agents of change.

Gurung, Jeannette with A. Quesada: Gender-differentiated Impacts of REDD to be addressed in REDD Social Standards. CARE Denmark, 2009.

Alboher et al. Briefs on Gender and Climate Funds: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation. Working Draft, UNDP, 2009.

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