The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals recognize the importance of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls in the global campaign for a just, equitable, and sustainable future. FSC is also looking at how we can best address women’s access to empowerment and opportunities within the forestry sector; gender equality indicators have been part of FSC’s forest stewardship standards since 2012, and the 2021-2026 FSC Global Strategy includes gender and diversity-related goals. This year, we are looking at how we can reinforce our approach with a new, focused strategic framework on gender & diversity.
As part of this effort, FSC commissioned a green paper on gender issues in forests from a gender expert. We are pleased to publish this green paper on International Women’s Day, along with our 2021 Baseline Report on Diversity and Gender in FSC.
The green paper provides an understanding of gender issues in forests and identifies entry points for FSC to proactively address gender inequality. It advocates for a gender-responsive approach to overcome gender biases and to allow women and men to engage with and benefit from forests equally. Looking across the FSC system for areas to leverage our impact on gender, the paper offers a series of recommendations for gender mainstreaming, including by evaluating our principles and criteria or by looking at areas such as ecosystem services and value chains.
Zandra Martinez, chairperson of the FSC Board of Directors, stated:
"More than ever, we need to increase our efforts to ensure that gender equality is realized at all levels and areas of FSC's influence – not only at the forest level to contribute to a sustainable tomorrow, but also simultaneously, internally, as an organization committed to gender equality and the value of diversity. This green paper is an important step in bringing together different perspectives to develop a strategic framework on diversity and gender."
Building on the inclusion of gender equality indicators in FSC’s forest stewardship standards in the past 10 years, FSC will continue to assess how we can recognize and advance new avenues for diversity and gender equality in forests around the world.