Measuring Women’s Participation in Environmental Decision-Making: An Analysis of National Reports to the Ramsar Convention
MetadataShow full item record
Gender inequities in marine and environmental management restrict women’s access to benefits at all levels, perpetuating poverty and undermining sustainable resource use. However, gender equity in this field is neither widely written into policy nor widely measured. In collaboration with the IUCN Global Gender Office, this study investigates reporting on women’s participation in management of protected marine and coastal wetlands. Using National Reports to the Ramsar Convention, a widely-ratified treaty that protects 916 marine and coastal wetlands worldwide, I define the frequency, context, and tenor of discussions of gender and women’s participation in conservation of these marine ecosystems and their resources. Keyword searches show that less than 16% of reports mention women or gender, and mentions of keywords relating to women decreased by approximately 90% between 1999 and 2015. These keyword mentions most frequently characterize women as stakeholders on national wetlands management committees, as indistinct from other subgroups often excluded from access to decision-making arenas, and as beneficiaries of sustainable development programs. Despite these findings, most Ramsar National Reports’ discussions of women lack sufficient detail for understanding cumulative progress toward gender equity in management. This study suggests that a) greater detail in reporting and b) establishment of mechanisms that measure long-term or cumulative progress toward equitable participation of women would help improve our understanding of gender equity in marine ecosystems management.
- Marine affairs