Women’s Inclusion in REDD+ in Cambodia Lessons from Good Practices in Forest, Agriculture and Other Natural Resources Management Sectors
The study is a part of the Joint Initiative of WOCAN, the UN-REDD Programme and USAID-funded LEAF Project to investigate practical entry points for women’s inclusion in Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) policies and practices. It aims to explore the current status and effectiveness of policies and practices related to gender integration in forestry, REDD+ and other natural resources management sectors in Cambodia. It analyses the current policies and practices,
identifies the gaps between policies and practices, determines the factors that enable the inclusion of women in the policies and practices and identifies elements that prevent inclusion and effective implementation.
In Cambodia, the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) has shown its commitment to develop and implement REDD+ policies and support pilot projects. There are policies and institutions in place to integrate gender in forestry and other natural resources management sectors, such as the community forestry sub decree and gender working groups in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF); and Forestry Administration (FA). However, some barriers have prevented effective function of institutions and implementation of these policies, including cultural barriers, perception that forestry is a men’s profession, limited budget and capacity for gender responsive budgeting, absence of a quota set up for women’s participation, lack of awareness on gender issues, limited capacity of human resources at the sub-national level and inadequate gender disaggregated data and baseline. In terms of REDD+, gender has not been systematically incorporated in the policy development processes and women are still minimally involved in the decision-making processes. Despite high levels of interest from staff members of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA) and some NGOs focusing on gender issues to be engaged in REDD+, limited technical knowledge on REDD+ restricts them from fully participating in policy development and project implementation.
Despite the barriers, the authors find good practices of women’s inclusion and gender integration in REDD+, forestry and other natural resources management sectors. They are classified based on key factors identified in the scoping study report, including ensuring women’s representation and participation; facilitation and capacity building for women’s participation; skill building; gender disaggregated analysis and planning to meet women’s livelihood needs; labour saving and time reducing technologies; women-only groups; women’s networks and federations; presence of gender champions and women’s leader; equitable benefit sharing mechanism; enterprise development and credit provision. The report concludes with a list of potential steps for moving forward to ensure women’s inclusion and gender integration in REDD+ policies and practices in Cambodia.