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Three girls outside their new dormitory at Lagosa Secondary School, western Tanzania.
Girl Power Three girls outside their new dormitory at Lagosa Secondary School, western Tanzania. © Roshni Lodhia

Stories in Africa

Women and Girls in Africa

Ensuring women and girls have equal access to knowledge and resources has the power to transform the landscape

Women Are Shaping a Sustainable Africa

Explore Their Stories

Leah learned about her land rights and now educates her fellow Maasai women on theirs. Amina organizes fisherwomen in her coastal community to protect their marine resources. Teresia embraces her opportunity to get a secondary school education. Habiba paved the way for other women to become elected leaders in community conservancies. 

All across Africa, women are doing it all. At The Nature Conservancy, we know that ensuring women and girls have equal access to knowledge and resources is not only the right thing to do, it’s the only way to find lasting solutions for people and the planet. 

The Solution to a Healthier Environment (4:17) Ensuring women and girls have equal access to resources helps us achieve our conservation goals. In fact, it’s the only way we can find lasting solutions for people and the planet.

Investing in Women and Girls Is a Conservation Solution

There are many reasons why investing in women and girls is critical to creating a more sustainable world: 

Fighting Climate Change: Project Drawdown lists providing girls with equal opportunities for education and voluntary family planning to be one of the most effective solutions to global climate change, with the potential to reduce global carbon emissions by 85 gigatons per year. 

Better Land Management: Studies have shown that when women are involved in decision-making, the environment is better managed. Another study found that if female smallholder farmers had the same resource access as men, farm yields would increase enough to reduce undernourishment by 12 to 17 percent (and likely reducing land conversion to agriculture). 

The Ripple Effect: Women invest up to 90 percent of their income on their families, creating positive ripple effects in their communities. According to Deliver for Good, evidence suggests that when women are included in climate change mitigation, they will prioritize clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food, and secure shelter for future generations.

“You educate a boy, and you're educating an individual. You educate a girl, and you're educating a village.”

Progress Across Africa 

Ensuring women and girls have equal access to knowledge and resources is becoming an integral component of our conservation work across the continent. 

Together, we are already making a big impact: 

Leadership: Eighteen female managers from NGOs in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Namibia completed intensive leadership training through the Africa Conservation Leadership Network to strengthen their skills and effectiveness.

Livelihoods: More than 15,000 women in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, and Gabon are benefitting from economic empowerment, including enterprises such as BeadWORKS in Kenya, new green jobs in Cape Town, and access to microloans and financial literacy trainings that support small women-owned businesses.

Health: In Kenya and Tanzania, 160,000 villagers have accessed reproductive health services, 16 health facilities have been renovated, and 19 staff have been trained in emergency procedures to save the lives of mothers and babies.  

Education: In Tanzania, a girls’ dorm was built adjacent to Lagosa secondary school, addressing major barriers to attendance — including safety for those who once traveled long distances alone, as well as electricity and time for doing homework instead of chores.