On the occasion of the International Women’s Day 2016, with its theme “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”, we would like to put the role of women in the 1 Million Trees program in the spotlight. Whether we are talking about climate change, land right conflicts or rural livelihoods – in all of these cases, women can feel those effects stronger than men. Therefore, every project engaged in one (or all) of these contexts is responsible to address gender equality among the beneficiaries. In many places however, inflexible role models of women and men and cultural perception of “decent” behavior aggravate the situation. Therefore, a culturally sensitive approach to the situation is to give spaces within the project, allowing women to discuss, learn and to act without male interference.
To create these scopes for development, we have approached specifically women and organized tailored project activities for female beneficiaries in the 1 Million Trees program over the last years. The pleasant result is that we have now 15% of female farmers among our beneficiaries, although field work is traditionally perceived as a male domain. Many women also work in the nurseries and care for the seedlings. To help achieve gender equality, we will further strengthen the economic empowerment of women by organizing financial trainings especially for women during this year.
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