Over the last twenty years, there has been an increase in studies about the relation between gender and natural resources. This has lead to recognition of the fact that gender differences determine the knowledge and capacities for conservation as well as a sustainable use of the environment by men and women. These gender differences are manifested in the division of labour between men and women, as well as in their access and control over natural resources. Due to the engendered labour division, men and women of rural communities are affected in different ways by the deterioration of the environment. For example, if there is a shortage in firewood, women will not be able to cook food, a responsibility traditionally assigned to them, or they might have to walk a long way in order to find it.
Central America is the first region in the world where all environmental ministries developed a political declaration on gender equity. These efforts are complemented with strategies and operational mechanisms in numerous projects for rural areas, which from a gender focus promote economic development with emphasis on the conservation or sustainable use of natural resources. Some of these projects are financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The objective of this work was to contribute to the present knowledge on the relation between gender and natural resources and to deliver elements of analysis to IFAD projects, regional programs and other actors in rural development. The final goal was to improve the focus on gender and natural resources in their efforts of generating income and reducing poverty.
Location: Central America