WAVES - Weaving Leadership for Gender Equality


WAVES launched on 5 March 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand. Learn more about RECOFTC's new approach to promoting gender equity across the Asia-Pacific Region. 

Ecological, economic, and socio-cultural systems are woven together to create forest landscapes that provide livelihoods to approximately 1.6 billion rural people globally. However, not all forest landscapes are equal.

The sustainability of these landscapes relies upon addressing the fundamental issues of gender inequality. Research shows that pervasive gender gaps exist in forest governance, with women facing challenges to their legitimacy as critical actors of the landscapes.

Leaders Weaving Gender Equality

Leaders have already shown that such barriers are NOT insurmountable. Despite these difficulties, strides are being made and individuals across landscapes are transforming forests to be equal for all people, irrespective of their sex, ethnic background or age. For instance, Nepal’s newly elected Vice-Mayors are aiming to develop plans that promote women’s empowerment; a professor from Indonesia is transforming forestry education by including gender in the curriculum; and an entrepreneur from Lao PDR is weaving plans to create sustainable incomes for ethnic communities through the trade of organic tea that grows in a nearby forest.  

These leaders, who the Center will promote and encourage, have the vision and drive to provide concrete actions for change. The Center understands that these leaders need additional support to achieve their vision and will empower those who are already working towards a more equitable future within local governments, forest bureaucracy, and community spheres.

Creating transformative change requires identifying and supporting individuals working in natural resource management to leverage, negotiate and champion such change on an institutional level. These efforts, however, must be accompanied by tailored efforts to support individuals and their organizations to mobilize resources.

WAVES will ensure that a series of efforts for Gender Equality are supported and sustained.

Results and benefits

The leaders' concurrent circles will provide ripples of change that shift attitudes about gender and forest landscapes, both informally and formally.

  1. Equip key actors in the region with the knowledge and capacity to understand, design and implement gender equality measures in forest landscapes

  2. Build women’s leadership skills to support gender equality across public agencies, private sector and local and ethnic communities

  3. Integrate gender equality into climate policy, monetary investments and actions.