IUCN CEESP Gender Specialist Group
Overview and description
The IUCN CEESP Gender Specialist Group (GSG) aims to strengthen the understanding of and promote the full achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment in all areas of conservation and ...The IUCN CEESP Gender Specialist Group (GSG) aims to strengthen the understanding of and promote the full achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment in all areas of conservation and sustainable development policy and practice.
Ms Meher Marker NOSHIRWANI
The recognition of women’s roles and responsibilities has increasingly been acknowledged at both local, national, regional, and global level over the last three decades. And yet, gender inequality persists, and the gender gap continues in many countries. Climate change has compounded gender disparities and the increasing loss of biodiversity has affected livelihoods, communities, and particularly women who are managers of the natural resource. Deeply entrenched social norms, and structural barriers need to be addressed and challenged, and this requires a greater understanding of gender roles and responsibilities, gender analysis, and gender mainstreaming. Women are powerful agents of change, and are critical to the decision-making process, as their leadership has a profound impact on the natural environment and the sustainable use of resources. Achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will only be possible if Goal (SDG) 5 ‘achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’ becomes a reality, because Goal 5 is fundamental to, and supports all the SDG’s and their targets.
CEESP and Gender
As a Commission CEESP contributes to IUCN’s Mission by providing insights and expertise and promotes policies and action to harmonize the conservation of nature with the crucial socio-economic and cultural concerns of human communities—such as livelihoods, human rights and responsibilities, human development, security, equity, and the fair and effective governance of natural resources. CEESP is positioned to advise and take an active role in the IUCN’s Gender Theme, which believes that gender equality and women’s empowerment are matters of fundamental human rights and social justice, and a prerequisite for sustainable development and achieving IUCN’s Mission.
Origins and Growth of the Gender Specialist Group
The Gender Specialist Group was created after the IUCN World Conservation Congress (WCC) in 2016, in response to the growing recognition, and integration of Gender in IUCN’s themes and programme. The Gender Specialist Group (GSG) and its Gender Inclusion Network, supports CEESP’s programme priority Gender equality in conservation, by strengthening the understanding of and promoting the full achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment in conservation and sustainable development policy and practice, including gender-based violence and
The GSG has grown over the last five years, with a current membership of over 77 members over all IUCN regions. It is a diverse group of women and men, who share a common perspective on Gender. This diverse group has specialists in several areas such as agriculture, forests, gender-based violence, wetlands, ecosystems, climate change, communities, and indigenous people. Members give their time voluntarily and bring issues which are important to them into a wider discussion, and explore emerging issues related to gender. The GSG supports the Human Rights in Conservation Team at IUCN by providing specialised input into research, and publications, and engages with the Gender team through its members to advance gender equality and develop a gender responsive approach.
Objectives for the GSG
- The Gender Specialist Group aims to strengthen the understanding of and promote the full achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment in all areas of conservation and sustainable development policy and practice.
- The GSG contributes to CEESP’s Mandate 2021-2025, and supports IUCN’s Human Rights in Conservation Team.
- The GSG engages with the diverse membership within the Gender Specialist Group, to amplify women’s voices.
Workplan 2023-2025: Engagement and Dialogue
Building on the work and lessons learnt over the last five years, the Gender Specialist Group proposes the following:
Data Base of Gender Experts
Develop a data base of members expertise so that specialist knowledge can be accessed as a resource available to the wider membership in IUCN. This will be done by mapping the expertise and knowledge of the members by using the google groups communication system and shared with the CEESP Steering Committee and the Human Rights and Conservation team.
Engagement with the IUCN Human Rights and Conservation Team
In the last four years, members of the GSG provided technical input to various research documents on gender-based violence, and gender in fisheries to the IUCN Global Programme on Governance and Rights. Gender sessions and side events were also conducted at the Asia Regional Conservation Forum, and at the Communities, Conservation
and Livelihood Conference (CCL). Members also participated virtually at the WCC 2021 in the Campus Session training on gender and environment ‘101’, and in a thematic session on gender-based violence and environment linkages.
This engagement will continue through exploring opportunities with the GSG members and the HRCT through regular meetings with the IUCN Gender team, and the Chair of the GSG. Input to a gender course for the IUCN Academy is a current possibility. And the GSG will continue to contribute and participate in virtual, and hybrid events as required.
Outreach to the IUCN Commissions and the IUCN Programme
Communication and dialogue with the Chairs of the other five Commissions will be initiated to identify areas of mutual collaboration on gender issues according to the IUCN gender policy, particularly in the post COVID-19 context.
Outreach to IUCN Regional offices
Through the CEESP Vice Chairs areas for research and collaboration in the IUCN Regional offices related to gender issues will be explored to increase gender mainstreaming according to the IUCN Gender policy.
Advance Gender into International Processes
The IUCN Gender team participates in the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the CBD, the UNFCCC, and other processes at global events. Drawing on the expertise of the members of the GSG collective input will be harnessed to contribute to gender issues related to these international events.
Communication and Dissemination of Gender Issues on Social Media
Regular information on gender issues, research papers, publications, and opportunities for advancing gender, will be conducted through the CEESP Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter platforms to disseminate information on gender, climate change, and emerging issues. The GSG page for the CEESP website will also be updated regularly with progress of activities.
Build Back Better IUCN Virtual Dialogues
A webinar on the Impact of COVID-19 on Gender was conducted in 2020, which focused on the global situation, exploring prior assumptions of the pandemic and its impact on gender, with a focus on issues of inequality, violence, access to education, health care, livelihoods, and financial independence. One webinar is planned to continue the series of Build Back Better in the post-COVID scenario to increase the understanding of current responses to the post-COVID scenario on women will be organized.
Task Force on Biodiversity and Family Planning
A Task Force in collaboration with the Margaret Pyke Trust / supported by the GSG /CEESP/SSC and CEC has been established pursuant to WCC 2020 Res 072 Importance for the conservation of nature of removing barriers to rights-based voluntary family planning. Activities of the Task Force will be carried out with the support and members of the GSG.
IUCN and MoCC launch Pakistan’s First-ever Climate Change Gender Action Plan: the full action plan is linked at the end of the article.