How fair is fair trade to women and marginalized people? A study commissioned by Fairtrade International to assess how effectively Fairtrade initiatives address gender equality revealed that fair markets alone are not enough to motivate gender- equitable benefit sharing. Value chain interventions must also be supported by affirmative actions to both build capacity and create opportunities, such as niche marketing for women’s products, within producer organizations.
At a COP 25 side event sponsored by CIFOR, ICRAF and RECOFTC, experts unpacked the reasons why gender is often treated superficially in climate finance – despite potential synergies between gender equality and sustainable climate action. CIFOR was also invited to support capacity-building efforts mandated under the UNFCCC Gender Action Plan; CIFOR scientist Houria Djoudi facilitated discussions among members of the recently established Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples platform and spoke on gender power relationships in a podcast.
And research on the possibility of leveraging climate finance for advancing gender equality and poverty reduction in Indonesia assessed the strengths and weaknesses of five different financial mechanisms with the potential to channel climate funding.
Remembering Esther Mwangi
In her 10 years at CIFOR before an untimely death in 2019, principal scientist and Nairobi hub leader Esther Mwangi left a legacy of achievements through her research on gender and land rights in countries across the tropics. Known for her strong sense of justice and comprehensive approach to research, she led the development of a survey for a comparative study on gender and tenure in Uganda, studied benefit-sharing arrangements in REDD+, and co-authored a series of ‘how to’ notes on gender and joint forest and water resource governance in Kenya, drawn from her research on the water towers of East Africa. She laid the foundations for CIFOR and FTA’s research on gender, and established gender integration throughout all research divisions and teams at CIFOR.
She really drove home the importance of gender in forestry. We shared the same dry sense of humor and love of elephants. Esther left us far too early.