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Safeguards at a glance: Are voluntary standards supporting gender equality and women’s inclusion in REDD+?

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  • Women from forest-dependent Indigenous Peoples (IPs) and local communities (LCs) play a key role in forest management, yet are frequently marginalized from decision making related to actions in their forests.
  • Overall, the design and implementation of REDD+ actions may be repeating the mistakes of prior conservation and development actions that failed to build in responsiveness to women’s rights and gender equality; safeguards standards may be a way to change these practices.
  • Our analysis shows that despite a commendable turn away from gender-blind requirements in safeguards, there is still much to be done.
  • Most of the standards included some gender-related criteria regarding land and resource rights, but only one specifically considered securing IP and LC women’s land and resource rights.
  • Standards have a range of gender equality requirements regarding REDD+ benefit sharing mechanisms; these range from strategies to assure women receive equal access to benefits, to securing women’s participation in the construction of those mechanisms.
  • However, only two standards required that grievance mechanisms were gender-responsive or accessible to women; this is an aspect that should receive more attention to bridge the gap between the potential and real impact of these standards.


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