The guidance document, Promotion of Gender Equality in National Forest Stewardship Standards, was developed in response to a call from FSC’s international membership at the 2014 General Assembly to address this crucial issue. The importance of this approach was reinforced in FSC’s Global Strategic Plan 2015-2020, released last year. The strategic plan called for the implementation of a “system-wide gender equality strategy, creating an institutional culture and normative framework that facilitates improving gender sensitivity within the system.”

Chairperson of FSC’s international Board of Directors, Rulita Wijayaningdyah, said the guidance document is an important first step in FSC’s gender equality strategy, and one which must be embraced by all FSC stakeholders.

“We strongly encourage standard development groups that are still in the process of completing their national forest stewardship standard to use this document as guidance, and those which have finalized their standard, to improve over time to align with this guidance. This document’s implementation, along with the achievement of effective outcomes, will set FSC as a leading organization promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in the forestry sector globally,” said Ms. Wijayaningdyah.

The gender equality guidance document was developed by the gender mainstreaming steering group with the informal input from members and external experts.