The involvement, contribution and role of both men and women are important to the functioning and well-being of coastal communities, but often not well understood. Poor understanding of the distinct roles and contributions of men and women often leads to lack of recognition of their distinct needs and interests in policies and programmes. This lack of recognition can result in failure to meet sustainable livelihood goals in ecosystem dependent coastal communities – the target beneficiary group of Mangroves for the Future (MFF).
Mangroves for the Future (MFF) recognizes that gender equality is fundamental to conservation and sustainable development, and has established gender as a cross-cutting or strategic consideration in its programme. MFF activities are designed to ensure that both men and women equally share the benefits achieved from the promotion of sustainable livelihoods and sustainable coastal resource management plans.
Key MFF activities:
- Gender analysis is incorporated as part of the Resilience Assessment (RA). This informs the call for project proposals, the selection of gender responsive projects, project design as well as monitoring and evaluation.
- Established in 2014, the MFF Strategic Framework and Action Plan for Gender Integration facilitates the integration of gender equality in the design, planning and execution of activities promoted and supported by MFF. It sets out the MFF principles and approaches and explains how gender integration in MFF will be delivered through the implementation of the MFF Resilience Framework.
- There have been significant advances towards gender integration in MFF initiated by capacity development events. Two training events took place, designed to strengthen IUCN’s regional institutional capacity and to develop gender integrated planning skills of field practitioners at MFF country programme level. Following the training countries worked further on gender sensitization at the national level to increase awareness and engage relevant partners in integrating gender in the MFF national programmes, including a more conscious integration of gender analysis in the RA process for priority geographic sites.
- MFF has been active in representing and advocating for gender and environment issues at regional policy meetings e.g. the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016. MFF has also developed a Regional Gender Study to explore gender patterns in coastal and marine resources management in terms of decision making and structural challenges preventing equitable opportunities for men and women. This study is being done in partnership with the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Centre (SEAFDEC) the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and covers twelve countries in South and Southeast Asia.
- MFF in collaboration with SEI, has created a (draft) Gender Analysis Toolkit; a practical guide for coastal and fisheries management practitioners seeking to understand how gender can impact coastal ecosystems resource use and management. It provides a set of illustrative research questions to guide data collection for gender analysis in coastal resource dependent communities. Questions are designed to explore information about gender roles and relations within six domains.
- MFF has also demonstrated the application of gender mainstreaming processes in other IUCN water governance programmes working with government and CSO partners in the Mekong and Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna watersheds, as well as RAMSAR wetlands including Beung Kiat Ngong and Xe Champhone in Laos PDR.