The Vital Role of Women in Forest Ecosystems and the Need for Gender Equality in Forest Landscape Restoration
By Tendai Gracious Moyo
Women play a critical role in forest ecosystems, providing food, water, and firewood for their families, and serving as primary users of forest resources. Their role is central to sustainable forest management.
However, cultural and social norms, legal and institutional barriers often prevent women from fully participating in forest landscape restoration, hindering their contribution to the sustainability of these ecosystems.
At Let's Green the Future Trust, promoting gender equality and women's land rights is a key priority. Women must have equal access to resources, opportunities, and control over land to participate in forest management and restoration.
To achieve gender equality in forest management, several crucial steps must be taken:
• Address cultural and social norms, such as gender roles, by working with community leaders, providing education and training to women.
• Address legal and institutional barriers by advocating for changes to laws and policies that discriminate against women and creating programs and initiatives that support their participation.
• Ensure women have equal access and control over land by advocating for changes to land tenure policies and supporting women's land rights organizations.
• Recognize and value women's contributions in forest management by highlighting their successes and achievements and providing opportunities for them to share their knowledge and experience.
• Provide access to finance to invest in businesses, equipment, and supplies.
• Strengthen women's networks to provide access to information, resources, and support.
• Engage men and boys in promoting gender equality and women's participation in forest management by raising awareness and providing education and training.
• Promote women's leadership in community organizations, government agencies, and other institutions by providing leadership training and support.
In conclusion, gender equality and women's participation in forest landscape restoration are essential for sustainable forest management. By overcoming the barriers to women's participation, promoting women's land rights, providing access to finance, strengthening their networks, engaging men and boys, and promoting women's leadership, we can create a more inclusive and equitable approach to forest landscape restoration that recognizes and values the critical role that women play in these ecosystems