On April 21, 2021, SAEDI Consulting in connection with No Line Communications hosted the first of a webinar series. The webinar invited participants to share their experience around the topic of Women’s Leadership and the Environment: What can we do better? After all, ‘there is no meaningful conversation in the developmental space that can be concluded without reference to gender issues with women’s well-being in the forefront.’
Hosted by SAEDI Consulting Founder and Practice Manager, Leisa Perch, speakers included Marina Fastigi, Executive Director of the YWF KIDO Foundation in Grenada and Christelle Kwizera, Founder and Managing Director of Water Access Rwanda. Participants came from a host of backgrounds, representing multi-lateral banks (CDB), the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa, NGOs and CSOs (Rise and Shine House), Academia, and the private sector (Water Access Rwanda, EnGen Collaborative, Agriluxe Marketing).
Presenters shared experiences working with local fishers in Barbados, women’s micro-enterprise in Grenada and water accessibility in Rwanda. All presenters shared their distinct experiences and challenges in engaging women in activities focused on climate change and resource stewardship.
During the webinar, participants were encouraged to share and provide their own feedback on this topic in what was an open and lively dialogue and successfully engaged practitioners in two-way conversations, networking, and knowledge sharing. Several issues were highlighted and there was enthusiasm for the model of sharing between regions in areas such as water, fisheries, agriculture and more. Participants also expressed concerns about some of the challenges in engaging women in environmental issues. These included: difficulty increasing engagement with women when they comfortable with the status quo; a reluctance of female researchers to engage with gender as a topic and to use gender in their scientific analysis; enthusiasm for gender work in the community, but then being hindered by lack of funding or constraints imposed by COVID-19; and separating specific gender needs with societal gender relations in the context of the environment.
Our next webinar will focus on the topic of ‘the Many Faces of Gender, Women and the Environment’. Stay tuned for the date to be announced on our website and social media. Future webinars will look at themes such as: Making Gender and Natural Resource Management Work, Engaging People in Environmental Stewardship, Powerful Stories of Women and Natural Resources, and Leading for Gender: Equal Access and Control over Resources.
We welcome feedback on future potential webinar topics. If you would like to join our invite list and participate in the next webinar, please email us with your name and organization.
We hope you’ll join us!