Resilience Means Closing the Gender Gap
Peru, where Forest Trends is leading a $27.5 million project to scale nature-based solutions, is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change. Peru is staring down the barrel of longer droughts, bigger floods, and shrinking of the glaciers that supply water for millions.
Peru faces a second challenge: its water sector is overwhelmingly dominated by men.
Women share the work in maintaining Peru’s natural infrastructure. They hold knowledge about things like where which local plant species are indicators of compacted soils, or how indigenous water management technologies interact with local springs.
But when it comes to the institutions that make decisions about water – whether government agencies, water utility management teams, or local water boards – women are largely absent.
We know that gender equality leads to better water security outcomes. Research shows that water projects are more successful and more sustainable when both men and women have a voice. Including women in water decision-making also has been shown to improve economic status and personal wellbeing of women and families.
Our focus on closing the gender gap in Peru’s water sector is a little bit unusual for a large-scale conservation initiative. But gender equity is inseparable from water security. In this Dispatch, we share what we’re learning and the impacts Forest Trends and partners have had to date. These are valuable lessons for our future work and for nature-based solutions investments everywhere in the world, not just Peru.
As always, please get in touch if you’re interested in learning more or finding ways to work with us on this issue.