Making Gender & Natural Resource Management Work – Making the Money Work for All, was the topic for our past webinar presented by SAEDI Consulting and No-Line Communications. We extend our sincere appreciation to the many participants and sector-leaders that joined us in this insightful conversation for the fourth webinar in our series where we heard from voices across four of the continents! We had also our largest group of participants yet.
For this webinar in the series, we were fortunate to have with us as our presenters: Leisa Perch, SAEDI Principal and Practice Manager and Nozipho Ndiweni of No-Line Communications for the welcome and introductions, Dr. Jeanette Gurung, Executive Director of WOCAN (Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management); Rodrigo París, International CEO of Barefoot College International; Christine Verheijden, International Development Consultant with Diversity2Change; Ilan Cuperstein, C40 Deputy Regional Director for Latin America; and Bernadette Deka-Zulu, Executive Director with PMRC (Policy Monitoring and Research Centre).
In focus for webinar 4 were questions including:
What barriers exist in empowering women with the management, use and distribution of natural resources across various economies around the world?
Do the funding instruments that exist really ‘work’ for gender equality?
Do current processes and programs consider the role of indigenous people and in particular indigenous women as knowledge keepers?
Dr. Jeannette Gurung spoke about her work with WOCAN: Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management, a women-led international membership network of over 1400 professionals and women’s associations spanning 114 countries worldwide. The organization delivers training and capacity building within agricultural and environmental organizations to expand impact and increase benefits for rural women’s organizations. They are the creators of the W+ StandardTM initiative which addresses challenges and gaps in gender responsive financing. These challenges include a lack of funds targeted to activities engaging and benefiting women, climate finance architecture that is not oriented towards scaling and replicating, women-led solutions, and projects measuring social as well as environmental impacts of climate projects. Through measuring women’s impact, W+ gives a monetary value to women’s unpaid work and contributions to climate actions through by quantifying women’s empowerment, using a market-based approach to incentivize actions towards women’s empowerment in climate projects, and helping to channel funding directly to women’s groups. https://bit.ly/3kpmjOY
Rodrigo Paris of Barefoot College International shared the great work being done by the school based in India. The College is working to train mothers and grandmothers from rural communities to provide them with knowledge and expertise on solar power. This group of trained specialists called ‘Solar Mamas’, are then able to take the knowledge and training they have acquired to their rural villages to establish and set up solar power in their communities. The program is expanding outside of the Barefoot College Campus in India to train women in their home countries. Pilot programs have been conducted in Egypt and Puerto Rico and are considering countries like Mexico, Grenada, Panama and South Sudan in 2021-2022. To date, they have trained 2000 Solar Mamas, globally, with leadership skills and technical expertise in solar power. https://bit.ly/3zg73tO
Image provided by Rodrigo Paris, Barfoot College International
Christine Verheijen, International Development Consultant, brought a variety of issues to our discussion including how intersectionality affects women’s lived experiences in differing ways, for example those of indigenous women or those of other vulnerable groups that need to be considered. In ‘making the money work’ across a spectrum of diverse groups and lived experiences it is imperative to have disaggregated and robust information on the people, place, and context of projects in Natural Resources Management; recognize that everyone can be an important source of information and act as knowledge holders, and that both men and women should have a chance to have their voices heard as participants in the development process. Christine used an example of the EnGenDER (Enabling Gender-Responsive Disaster Recovery, Climate and Environmental Resilience) Project. The project is working with partner countries in the Caribbean to mainstream gender in National Adaptations Plans (NAPs) and reduce the likelihood of gender inequality arising from disaster and climate risk. This project is one of the outputs of SAEDI’s earlier work (in 2018); work in which we are still involved as we support one of the implementing partners, UN Women. https://bit.ly/3DgyC8F
Ilan Cuperstein, Deputy Regional Director for Latin America - C-40 Cities, shared the work their organization is doing help support their network of 97 mega cities to meet climate targets at a local level and how their work is particularly working to support women. They are using five tools to specifically target women’s needs (outlined below).
An example of combining these tools with practical projects was work done with the city of São Paulo to conduct a gender impact analysis in planning expansion of the city’s cycling infrastructure. The analysis resulted in several actions to increase women’s use of bike lanes, including better public lighting and safety, better definition of rest stops and parking facilities; smaller networks and bike paths in neighborhoods and places further from more central/busier areas.
C40 Cities also supports a mentoring program for young women climate leaders, called Women4Climate. The program, present in 10+ cities around the world has supported over 100 young women climate leaders with mentorship and capacity-building. https://bit.ly/3DgzmKZ
Bernadette Deka-Zulu, Executive Director of the Policy Monitoring and Research Centre shared both the factors/challenges that deter women form natural resource management and strategies to enhance women’s involvement in natural resource management. For example, in Zambia 10% of land is designated to the state and 90% is controlled by traditional leaders who maintain cultural practices baring women from acquiring land. Providing women with an opportunity to acquire land is essential for economic productivity, sustainable livelihoods, and poverty reduction among women. Recognizing the role women play in natural resource management and wealth creation through extractive industries is an important step in promoting women’s roles in natural resource management. Collecting gender disaggregated data in the natural resources management sectors and amending policies to recognize women and men’s unique roles will also help create a more equitable climate in Natural Resources Management. https://bit.ly/3mw3n3z
We thank all our participants and speakers for sharing their thoughtful insights around this topic and what is happening to strengthen women’s participation and involvement in making ‘Natural Resources Management Work’. Recent articles shared during the session include stories on Indigenous knowledge being essential to solving the climate crisis, Indigenous women conserving forests of the Columbian Amazon, and Fisherwomen dealing with oil spills in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. At least two connections were made between presenters and audience members on programmes including the Barefoot College planned engagement in Grenada. SAEDI Consulting will continue to follow these stories and keep you updated!
We look forward to the next conversation in our speaker series. If between now and our next webinar, you discover interesting articles related to our work and this series or wish to post an article or blog on our webpage, please kindly share and send to email@example.com.
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