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Gender is indeed a biodiversity issue!

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By Shruti Ajit

It is 2022, and we are still having to justify how women and biodiversity are related and why we need to have a gender-transformative framework and actionable points in international and national forums! Women’s lives have been closely intertwined with the biodiversity around them and also influence aspects of food security, livelihoods and health of their households and their communities and through that, the world. There are several examples of women-led conservation practices on the ground, but these are not documented, highlighted or even considered when policies and legislations are being drafted. And where there exists any kind of gender-specific laws, there has been very weak or no implementation on ground. Decisions about women, their agency and their bodies, are being made without women – without their active participation, without acknowledging their roles in biodiversity and without recognizing their rights. It is high time to change that!

The inclusion of a stand-alone gender equality target (Target 22) in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework (GBF) will enable the beginning of the process of inclusion, recognition and informed and equal participation of women in formal decision-making bodies, their rights to be equal landholders and equitable access and benefit from conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. The gender equality target will be a means to an end which is the larger process of the gender responsiveness of the entire GBF. To reach the full potential of the principle of gender responsiveness and gender justice, Target 22 will help initiate the actionable and achievable first steps for countries to put processes and monitoring frameworks in place, including gender-disaggregated data for participation of women and girls in decision-making bodies, their access rights, tenurial record of rights where women become equal rights holders, and their access to gender-responsive financing and resource mobilization.  It’s about time we address the historical marginalization of women and girls and build a more inclusive, kinder and just world where we learn to co-exist in harmony with nature.

Watch the June 24 press conference on gender equality in the post-2020 global biodiversity framework here, or scan the QR code in the poster below.  

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