SwedBio is dedicated to advancing equality for women and men as an integrated part of our efforts towards sustainable and equitable development, and management and use of biodiversity and ecosystem services. In many contexts, men and women have unequal access and rights pertaining to land, territories, biological resources and ecosystem services. Gender inequality can also manifest itself in inequitable access to knowledge and power. Moreover, women are often more vulnerable than men to the consequences of biodiversity loss, ecosystem degradation and climate change.

In addition, there are differences in the way women and men use and contribute to biological resources. Biodiversity programmes provide an opportunity to alleviate gender inequalities, through recognising and catalysing the vital role women play as biodiversity defenders, as well as their specific needs, priorities and capacities when it comes to valuing nature and managing its assets. By ensuring the full participation of women at all levels of policymaking and implementation for biological diversity conservation we have a better chance at achieving biodiversity as well as sustainable development goals.

Being sensitive to these complex gendered issues requires that a gender equality perspective be applied across SwedBio’s work. SwedBio, in collaboration with its partners, try to mainstream a gender perspective:

At organisational level: Efforts to support and promote gender equality and women empowerment to ensure equitable and sustainable development are integrated with SwedBio’s mission, as well as in our Theory of Change. Gender is also mainstreamed through our routines and procedures – we are constantly revising our frameworks and templates, in an attempt to consider the factors that influence the intricate linkages between nature, human wellbeing and gender. SwedBio’s elaborated Gender Policy is a testament and serves as practical guidance to include a gender perspective at the programme level.

In our collaborative partnerships: SwedBio engages in collaborations with partners who take on a gender perspective, and engages in continuous dialogue with all its partners regarding gender mainstreaming in their own work, but emphasises local ownership and development of gender perspectives that are guided by local knowledge. Is important to allow partners and potential partners to put forward their own narratives and definitions of what gender equality, rights and identities mean in their local contexts, and to the communities they work with.

We apply a gender lens when screening applications, monitoring project progress and meeting with partners, and also announce calls for proposals specifically devoted to developing and applying methods for engaging with women as the target group, women’s coalitions and networks, as well as projects addressing gender equality and women’s rights.

Through dialogue for knowledge and policy: SwedBio promotes women’s rights and gender equality in global and regional policy by bringing forward the perspectives and priorities of diverse women on issues pertaining to biodiversity and ecosystem management. As such, our policy engagement is guided by dialogue with partner organisations which reflect and understand local conditions, priorities and needs for gender equality policies in local, regional and global contexts, and for equal access to rights pertaining to biodiversity and ecosystem management.

Gender equality and human and women’s rights can sometimes be misaligned with customary practices and values. Therefore, SwedBio recognises that while human rights are universal, cultures are changing and evolving. Therefore, SwedBio supports efforts for gender equality that are guided by the concerned Indigenous peoples and communities themselves.