Empowering Women in Conservation Projects

Inviting Women's Voices in Conservation Projects

A growing body of evidence suggests that empowering women is the single biggest force for positive change in the world today and better integrating women into conservation projects could increase the benefits to people from conservation.
More specifically, the better integration of women into our projects can help make local natural resource use more sustainable and more equitable.
Yet empowering women can be socially and culturally challenging. To increase the chances of success, The Nature Conservancy’s Global Science program has developed and piloted a systematic way to better integrate women into conservation projects.

Overall Process Steps

The steps below were developed from the pilot activities to integrate gender into conservation projects in Africa and Melanesia. It is based equally on what worked well and what did not. As such, it is a draft list of steps that is likely to change over time.

1.     Collect all the existing gender analysis documents for the country and read them.

2.     Synthesize the information using the six domains of gender (USAID 2005) and highlighting the gender issues that are most relevant to the new conservation project. See the link below for an example.

3.     Use the resulting document to inform the project planning team of the likely gender challenges and opportunities for the project.

4.     Do a rapid gender assessment of the project area to identify potential gender entry points for the project. Use the conservation-gender checklist to guide semi-structured interviews with local key informants and to develop focus group discussion protocols. See the link below for the checklist.

5.     Triangulate information on likely gender entry points by crossing checking the likely entry points with local experts.

6.     Bring project stakeholders together for a workshop to increase awareness on why gender matters and review the potential gender entry points. Decide on which gender entry points (if any) are locally feasible. Agree on the priority activities for gender that should be incorporated into the project.

7.     Build gender activities into the project’s logical framework and work plan.

8.     Collect gender-disaggregated baseline data.

9.     Continue to monitor gender activities and impacts during project implementation.


Gender checklist

Gender analysis for conservation example
DFID's  Gender Manual (still one of the best)
CARE US gender toolkit


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