With an estimated 1.6 billion people dependent on forests and trees, including trees on farms, for their livelihoods, forest, tree and agroforestry systems have the potential to address many sustainable development challenges. Gender relations and norms, as fundamental organizing structures across cultures and societies, play a pivotal role in shaping opportunities and constraints in these tree-based systems, and condition the ability of women and men to benefit from, and contribute to, positive development and environmental change. Hence, providing relevant solutions and leveraging opportunities requires understanding the complex role of gender in shaping livelihood and resource management decisions, governance, and the distribution of benefits from tree-based systems.
The forestry and agroforestry sector has much to contribute to addressing inequalities between women and men, and empowering disadvantaged women and men in ways that contribute to sustainable rural landscapes. The CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) is tackling this challenge head on. FTA embeds gender research within each of its five flagships, pertaining to tree genetic resources, livelihoods, inclusive business models, landscapes and climate change. FTA aligns its activities with the Sustainable Development Goals, and contributes to a global vision of gender equality and women’s empowerment.