How can gender be mainstreamed into programmes concerned with the sustainable use and management of biodiversity? The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has produced guidelines on how to integrate gender analysis into biodiversity research. The central role played by women in the maintenance of rural lands, and changing gender roles and relations resulting from cost of living rises and increased migration, are highlighted. Women are not simply working within the household but also assume roles such as farmers, gatherers, health care providers, drawers of water, food processors, market vendors, and soil conservationists. Biodiversity management therefore is not simply about equitably managing farms, forests and other public spaces. It also involves identifying and addressing the power imbalances and gender dynamics of the household, the markets where both women and men buy and sell their produce, and the nature and function of local organisations and social networks where women and men come together to share resources and information on biodiversity.
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