Gender Mainstreaming in Environmental Management

Women and men interact differently with the environment which dictates their access and control over resources. Gender norms, division of labour and access to and control of resources play a key role in how women and men interact with the environment.

Traditionally and even today, men take up the role of decision-making in environmental management. They are the landowners, they decide, who, when where and what can be planted on land, who can harvest from the forests and the end products and also the distribution of freshwater. Men have control over lands, mining areas and water sources.

Traditionally, women have been portrayed as one with nature, close to nature and at conflict with nature. The triple role of women (reproductive, productive and community) places women in direct contact with the environment. To ensure that there are food and fuel at home, women are at the forest harvesting fuel, medicine to care for the sick and the elderly and water from the river for house use. Women also interact closely with the environment by ploughing planting, weeding, harvesting, processing and storing crops livestock rearing, and domestic work.  However, it is also considered that women are in conflict with the environment and play a key role in its degradation.

Men, women, youth, children, and the elderly are affected differently with changes in the environment. However, women and girls are more affected than men. The burden of care work assigned to women is a great obstacle to access to information. Women are active agents of conservation and restoration of natural resources, as their caregiving responsibilities and livelihood activities are often highly dependent on these resources. throughout history, men have looked at natural resources as commercial entities or income-generating tool, while women tended to see the environment as a resource supporting their basic needs.

Please find the video of the discussion below:

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