Gender and community conservation
USAID. Office of Women in Development
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The conservation of biodiversity relies on the involvement of the full community -- both women and men -- whose interests and perspectives regarding natural resources may differ. Often, an ostensibly gender-neutral initiative may in fact be biased against women. For example, in some cultures, women are discouraged from participating (or are dominated by men) in meetings to determine plans that will affect their day-to-day activities surrounding natural resource use. Yet, if women cannot participate in decision making, they may not engage in executing plans that will have a positive, long-term benefit in preserving natural resources. Because men's and women's roles and impact on the environment may differ, devising a gender-neutral initiative is not enough. Rather, there must be an explicit effort to understand these roles and then design a program that will accommodate the activities of both women and men.