Gender Mainstreaming and Utilization of Natural Resources

1ST MARCH 2013

Why Gender?

  • Gender refers to the different roles and responsibilities assigned to men and women.
  • women and men experience climate change differently because their experiences, needs, rights and the options available to them which differ according to socio-culturally defined gender roles. 
  • Women are more vulnerable because of their roles and responsibilities are located in sectors most affected by climate change, e.g., food production, water and fuel wood collection – for example:
  • women and children walk longer distances, girls may drop out of school at puberty if water for hygiene is not available,

What is gender mainstreaming?

  • It is the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels.
  • It is a strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated.
  • The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality”.

Gender concerns in NRM

  • Inequitable access and control over NRM resources
  • Low participation of women in decision making relating to NRM – this is inspite of the fact that they are the nurturers of the NR
  • Women knowledge gained over time is never incorporated in planning and decision making (women are not only victims but are change agents) e.g., in climate change adaptation
  • Low implementation of national, regional & international laws on gender and women

Gender in County Governance

  • Ensuring that policies, by-laws and rules reflect the needs of women and men
  • Removing access to NRM barriers such as title deeds requirement for water connection, water permits and credit. Instead, use of solidarity groups where one is guaranteed by other members.
  • Making services affordable for poor women and men
  • Equal access to opportunities and benefits – training, employment, information dissemination
  • Accelerate implementation of policies and commitments on gender and women and empowerment
  • Participatory in governance of natural resources i.e. in all the various committees – e.g., County development, CFAs and Water Resource Users Associations. – adoption of affirmative action as provided in the Constitutions
  • Promoting and strengthening women leadership in natural resource use & distribution: women should be a part of forest associations and management committees as they should have a say in how forest & water resources are used and managed.
    • for example the forest policy advocates for:
    • Access to forest resources – timber, fuel wood, medicinal plants, water, insects, fruits.
    • Access to decision-making pertaining to forest management – Community Forest Associations.
    • Access to capacity building for participation
  • Capacity building: education on policies and laws i.e. the constitution, land policy, water policy
    for example the water policy is in line with the constitution and reaffirms the rright to water. WLCs.
  • Capacity building and empowerment of communities can enhance achievement of equity in sharing of national resources,it gives voice to local communities, it has promoted accountability and citizen participation in governance and gives powers of self-governance to communities; and ensure proximate, easily accessible service delivery that will facilitate socio-economic development.

Devolved governments

  • Make policies that are in line with national policies and laws , responsive to gender needs and responsibilities.
  • Involve men, women, youth and persons with disabilities in decision making on natural resource management an use.