Focali brief: Looking for gender equality in REDD+

REDD+ meeting with cattle breeders in a village i Burkina Faso. Photo: Lisa Westholm

Focali brief: Looking for gender equality in REDD+

The consideration of gender issues and women’s rights in REDD+ policy formulation and implementation can be seen as a moral imperative, but it is also based in legal texts and institutional commitments. This new Focali brief, written by Lisa Westholm, provides an overview of the work with gender issues in REDD+ policy making to date, and brings up some key issues relating to gender equality in the design and implementation of REDD+ programs.

Key messages:

- An exclusive focus on women’s economic empowerment is unlikely to shift unequal power relations.

- Basing policies on the assumption that gender roles will remain the same forestalls opportunities for transforming gender relations.

- Policies need to be based on proper gender analysis which takes into account the local context.

- Policy makers need to recognise, acknowledge and have an open debate about the trade-offs involved in policy proposals.

- Gender equality cannot be achieved in REDD+ in isolation, but needs to be addressed in a broader context of social policy.


This brief is based on a doctoral thesis by Lisa Westholm titled Conserving carbon and gender relations? Gender perspectives on REDD+ and global climate policy. It was defended at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, in September of 2017 and is available here

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