Enhancing Gender Equality and Climate Protection

Climate change impacts men and women differently. Social conditions, access to resources, gender-specific activities and livelihoods all factor into how men and women can respond and adapt to climate change. However, few approaches exist to address the different needs, interests and potential of women and men in the face of climate change.
In Kuyoj Qhocha and Tapera in Bolivia, the effects of climate change are being felt in the form of crop failures and changing precipitation patterns. The GIZ is working with these communities to improve access to irrigation, protect watersheds and diversify the agricultural base of small farmers. A pilot project addresses the special needs of women, who are often burdened with extra tasks when their spouses migrate to find work that will replace lost income resulting from reduced harvests. Pilot activities, centered on capacity building, natural resource protection and production of new crop varieties, seek to stabilize livelihoods and diversify incomes, as well as improve food security, without increasing women’s work load. Women have started producing flowers, berries, vegetables, eggs and fish, which can be used for the family’s consumption or sold in the local markets. Plans to replicate the work in other watersheds are already underway.

Gender in Nature Protection

As MAPZA is involved in the protection of protected areas as well as natural resources it concentrated in developing capacities of women, especially indigenous women, in order to enhance their participation within the project as well as in raising awareness for this matter within its own staff as well as within the counterparts. Furthermore yearly surveys about the perception of the development in the project areas differ between male and female answers. This approach showed good results as women were more and more involved in planning and realization of projects as in the Territorio Indígena Parque Nacional Isiboro Sécure (TIPNIS), Reserva Nacional de Vida Silvestre Amazónica Manuripi and Parque Nacional Sajama.

Gender in Agriculture

PROAGRO developed a specific methodology for integrating gender in its work in the field of water management, irrigation and agriculture production/commercializing. This instrument was first tested within a target group and then introduced to the norms of its counterpart, the Viceministerio de recursos hídricos y riego, which are obligatory for all projects executed in this field. Recently the program has published a didactic booklet on the topic of gender and the adaption to climate change.

Gender in Energy

On the one hand work in the field has shown the ENDEV team that women are the most important target group for the delivery of electrical technology, especially in rural areas. While most part of the male population migrates to other places looking for work, the female population usually stays behind with even bigger loads of work: occupied with the traditional tasks of housekeeping, raising children and taking care of elder people, women are also responsible for economic subsistence as through small scale farming and production. That is why having access to self made bio-gas, solar energy plants, mills, ovens and warm showers not only saves time and eases workloads for women – it also enhances health, alimentation and hygiene of the whole community. On the other hand the colleagues of ENDEV realized that the implementation of new technologies as the construction of new cooking conditions in small households attracts the male population, so that man suddenly were more interested in cooking and sharing responsibilities within their homes.

Gender in Local Economic Development

Our cooperation in Norte Potosí is directed to increase population income and job creation, in an inclusive and equitable way. Our labor focuses on the use and development of adequate tools and instruments that facilitate a crosscutting approach to the issue of gender Equality and women empowerment. For example all the official development plans from local governments have the gender perspective. There is a selection process of the best business plans of the region Norte de Potosí and the methodology is gender sensitive and will be in the future implemented by the local government. There was an specific labor on women empowerment with development trainings to acquire knowledge and skills for leadership and participation, getting a network of women organizations affecting the outcome of local economic development in the region.

Gender in Democracy

Through its mainstreaming strategy PADEP has achieved an integration of the gender focus in the projects of all three program components: Decentralization, Public Management and Transformation of Conflicts. An example for the integration of gender sensibility in a project that was mainly about a different topic is PADEP’s advising role to the planning division of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Services and Housing on the implementation of the national housing program in one of the focal regions of the German Cooperation – Norte de Potosí. PADEP achieved the ministries commitment to provide 19% of new social housings to women being family heads, which implicates that the tenures of the homes be assigned to them – something still not common in Bolivia. Another example of good practice is the rise in gender sensitive budgeting in municipalities (of the two focal regions) advised by PADEP that showed an increase of 47% in the average budget available for projects benefitting women between 2009 and 2010.

Gender in Water and Sanitation

The Water Program PROAPAC ensures the empowerment of women in all stages of delivering basic sanitary facilities. An example is the special care for female council members in water cooperatives in Santa Cruz focusing on gender relates issues while developing the cooperative action plans. Also the joint support from PROAPAC and PROAGRO for developing capacities of female leaders from civil society organizations for the pacification of development projects in the area of basic sanitation. The inclusion of the gender focus is also essential while developing methods, instruments and capacity building learning material in relation to education in the area of sanitation.

For further information about any of the projects mentioned here, please write to us at gender@giz.de.