Gender in Agriculture Partnership

Transforming agriculture to empower women and deliver food, nutrition and income security

That tricky gender thing: lessons from Amazonia

That tricky gender thing: lessons from Amazonia

There are enormous gaps in our knowledge about how gender relations shape the lives of people living in the forests of the Amazon, a new study has found – but on the ground, remarkable changes are happening across the region as women begin to organise and empower themselves.

In the Brazilian state of Pará women have dramatically increased their participation in rural workers unions over the past 30 years, from just three percent membership in the 1970s to more than half in 2006.

In Ecuador, Huaorani women formed their own indigenous women’s association to promote their interests.

And women from nine states in Brazil created a network of collective microenterprises to sell, and fight for access to, non-timber forest products like babassu nuts.

These stories are highlighted in the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) study that analyses the literature on gender and forests in Amazonia.

And they are not isolated examples. Marianne Schmink, Professor of Latin American Studies and Anthropology at the University of Florida and the other authors of the study, identified many local associations and unions where women continue gradually to gain a greater voice and influence through collective mobilisation.

Read the full news on CIFOR