In Africa, there have been amazing strides when it comes to empowering women. Women are now holding key roles in politics as well as major roles in the food system as food growers and water and fuel gatherers. While, of course, the involvement of women in this sector is important and valuable, it is arguably more important to make sure that these women are evolving along with the sectors they are a part of to increase the sustainability of their efforts, ensure that they are using the most environmentally-friendly methods, and are doing as little damage to the habitat and well-being of animals.
African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) recently shared on their website that Africa has not yet met these goals when it comes to women’s roles. They feel that women need to be involved in conservation from the community level all the way up to the highest levels of international policy-making and law. They also feel that “supporting structures for women’s involvement in natural resource management also need to be proactively developed” and that the conservation societies that do exist “do not recognize the unique contribution that women can make to the sector and do not account for the obstacles that women face to become involved in the sector.”
So, what can be done? Well, AWF isn’t just doling out criticism over the system, they’ve come up with a plan to improve it. In an effort to have more females involved in biodiversity conservation management, in Uganda, AWF has partnered with Uganda Wildlife Authority to begin a “Women in Conservation” program. The concept is pretty simple: women who are making amazing conservation efforts will be regarded as “conservation champions” and will be supported to then mentor young women into conservation leadership. Pretty amazing!
Women will now be able to see and try to tackle the problems facing their sectors head-on. Some will even be able to interact with animals and come face to face with some of the lives that are very much affected by their work.
We cannot wait to see the good that will surely come from AWF’s new initiative. Here, at One Green Planet, we are constantly presented with upsetting realities about how unsustainable our world is, with much of it stemming from the agriculture sector. Considering sustainability solutions don’t exactly fall out of the sky, we know how imperative it is to get everyone from the sector involved, from farmer to politician, men and women alike. We applaud AWF’s effort to involve women in the conversation and increasing the positive impact they can have in their sector. We are excited to see some of the positive changes that are sure to come from this initiative! To learn more about African Wildlife Foundation, visit their official website.
Image source: African Wildlife Foundation