The gender dimensions of biodiversity

SUMAMAD project/T.K. Bhati
Thar Desert, India

In the development and environmental discourse, it is increasingly acknowledged that the incorporation of knowledge and practices of both women and men is not only relevant but essential for sustainable development. In particular, the gender division of labor has resulted in women and men in many societies having different roles and knowledge related to biodiversity within their communities. However, while women are increasingly seen as embodying specific biodiversity knowledge and although an increasing number of experiences highlight the sustainable manner in which women use biodiversity, their role in biodiversity management and decision-making processes is often ignored.

It is thus essential to recognize that women and men have specific needs, interests, perspectives and aspirations, and that they make different but equally valuable contributions to the conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity.

UNESCO initiatives

UNESCO International Year of Biodiversity Science-Policy Conference

Organized within the framework of the UNESCO International Year of Biodiversity Science-Policy Conference in 2010, the session on the gender dimensions of biodiversity sought to build on UNESCO’s commitment to address the equal participation and inclusion of women in all biodiversity-related activities and processes. It also intended to demonstrate why the pivotal role of gender in addressing biodiversity challenges merits special consideration in the formulation of conservation policies, strategies, and projects at all levels.

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