Gender and forestry in Uganda: Policy, legal and institutional frameworks

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Despite legal frameworks, policies and strategies in Uganda to support equality between men and women, prominent gender inequalities still exist in forest use and/or management. Cultural beliefs and traditional practices that restrict women from planting trees or from speaking in public forums constrain policy implementation. Initiatives set up by the government to support private tree planting require land ownership, yet women own only 7% of land in Uganda. This automatically excludes them. Most gender mainstreaming policies lack legal provisions to ensure compliance, and gender considerations in national laws are not reflected at lower levels of government. The forestry sector and civil society organisations should encourage girls to pursue a career in science, and forestry in particular. The National Forestry Authority should work with civil society, the private sector and development partners to address gender concerns in forest management; simplify guidelines for community forest management and produce them in local languages; and advance funding to women to help them take part in private forest development and central forest reserves.

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