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Gender mainstreaming

Women have a key role in promoting sustainable land management. In developing countries in particular, women are engaged in land use, including food production and preparation, collection of fuelwood and provision of water, fodder, medicinal herbs, fruits and seeds. Nevertheless, women, especially those in rural areas, still lack secure access to land and are disadvantaged because of entrenched gender-specific rights, roles and responsibilities, which can negatively impact their quality of life. This puts rural women at the center of vulnerable groups affected by land degradation, which makes gender-responsive Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) policies and their implementation imperative at both local and national levels.

Achieving LDN depends on transformative efforts to avoid, reduce and reverse land degradation through gender-equitable measures. Many of the LDN targets and the Drought Initiative goals include the advancement of gender equality and improvement of women’s access to land as co-benefits of sustainable agriculture. Gender mainstreaming is also linked to the achievement of other lSDGs such as food security, improved health and nutrition, reduction of poverty, ecosystem restoration and mitigation of climate change impacts.

Building on the work launched by UN Women, the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD and the International Union on the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are advising governments on integrating gender perspectives in the development of LDN initiatives. Mandated by the UNCCD Gender Action Plan (GAP), the Science Policy Interface LDN Conceptual Framework and related decisions adopted by the Conference of the Parties, two main documents have been produced to guide country Parties in designing LDN TPP.

A hands-on dedicated guide to mainstreaming gender in LDN TPPs titled “A manual for gender responsive LDN TPP” has been developed by UN-Women in collaboration with IUCN and the Global Mechanism and launched at COP14. The guide, based on the workshop experiences and lessons learned, provides concrete, step-by-step guidance to parties in integrating gender issues and promoting gender equality in the design of transformative LDN projects. The manual is available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic (see below).

A briefing note on “LDN interventions to foster gender equality” highlights the need for gender-balanced participation in land and natural resource governance at the national and landscape levels as well as the necessity of strengthening the legal aspects of land land rights for vulnerable groups including women. Ensuring equal access, use and control over land, forests and other natural resources together with closing the gender gap as part of evidence-based interventions is also key to ensuring that land-based initiatives do not perpetuate historical inequalities or marginalize women’s rights. 

Read more about the LDN Interventions to foster gender equality

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