IUFRO places focus on gender equality in forestry

The IUFRO Task Force on Gender Equality in Forestry aims at strengthening the interaction between forest science and social reality, addressing new perspectives, and integrating gender as a cross-cutting strategy.

Photo: IUFRO

When one thinks of forests, forestry and forest research, gender equality is probably not the first thing that springs to mind. But it actually makes a lot of sense. “Forestry has always been about people as much as it is about trees and the biophysical conditions of this particular land use. However, forest research worldwide leans heavily toward the latter aspects,” explains Dr. Gun Lidestav, coordinator of the IUFRO Gender Equality in Forestry Task Force.

Integrating gender as a cross-cutting issue in the implementation of the IUFRO Strategy as well as strengthening the participation of scientists on equal terms, are the main objectives of the IUFRO Gender Equality in Forestry Task Force. This work will then provide a basis for gender mainstreaming processes within the IUFRO network, and advancing gender equality in forestry worldwide.

The approach that Dr. Lidestav’s Task Force will take is to explain and promote gender equality as it relates to the scientific and research practices of IUFRO. And, by examining selected gender equality initiatives in different parts of the world, it will provide examples of research and policy interaction.

In May 2020 Dr. Lidestav would have been the keynote speaker of an international networking conference entitled “Forests in Women’s Hands”, which had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference shall now take place on April 12th – 14th, 2021, at WALDCAMPUS Austria, Traunkirchen, Austria.

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The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) is a non-profit, non-governmental international network of forest scientists, which promotes global cooperation in forest-related research and enhances the understanding of the ecological, economic and social aspects of forests and trees. IUFRO unites more than 15,000 scientists in almost 700 Member Organizations in over 110 countries, and is a member of ICSU.