Women play a crucial role in the natural resource management, agriculture and food security: they contribute 43% of the work in agricultural production and are in charge of 60-80% of food production. Despite this women and girls are more affected by food insecurity and malnutrition. They have only limited access to and control over natural resources such as water and land and productive assets, financial services and training is less available to them. The issue of land is particularly gendered and only few of the land worldwide is controlled and owned by women. Uneven legal rights and policies and discriminatory customary and cultural practices hinder women’s equal rights to land. Moreover, women usually are underrepresented in governance bodies managing natural resources and have less say in policy development.
With the pressure on natural resources growing, due to climate change, large scale land acquisitions or conflicts, poor women’s livelihood faces even more constraints. Also the lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation affects women and girls disproportionally. Women and girls are also particularly exposed to climate-related disaster risks.
Gender and natural resources thus encompasses different topics and stakes that are all interlinked. For SDC’s work the following are of particular importance:
Resources and publications on gender in natural resources, food security, climate change and biodiversity you can find here.