NEWS | Evidence To Action: Gender – a missing link in efforts to eradicate IWT

Organised by Helen Anthem, Fauna & Flora International and Rebecca Drury, Fauna & Flora International

If you missed Francis Massé speaking on this session panel on 9 October 2018, you can watch it here:

Presenters: Helen Anthem, Fauna & Flora International; Rebecca Drury, Fauna & Flora International; Francis Massé, University of Sheffield; Meredith Gore, Michigan State University; Moses Muthoki, Ol Pejeta Conservancy

The importance of integrating gender into conservation is increasingly acknowledged but there are still significant gaps in knowledge, policy and practice. This is particularly true in the context of illegal wildlife trade where, despite anecdotal evidence that the roles of actors in the trade are highly gender differentiated, there appears to be very little attention paid to gender in research, policy and programming. Indeed most approaches to addressing IWT appear to be ‘gender blind’ i.e. no distinction is made between the sexes, or differences are acknowledged but not adequately analysed and acted upon. This can result in interventions based on unfounded assumptions as well as a bias in favour of existing gender relations. Indeed some interventions, for example where associated with increased militarisation, may in fact reinforce rigid gender roles and stereotypes and marginalise women further.

Given that gender analysis and integration has been shown to improve outcomes in other spheres of conservation, it could be surmised that this is likely also to be true for IWT. However, the gender blind nature of practice to date means that the evidence base for this hypothesis is currently lacking. This session aims to begin to address this gap by initiating a discussion between a diverse set of IWT stakeholders framed around the following questions:

  • What is already known about the roles of both men and women in aiding or preventing IWT?
  • How is gender being integrated (or not) into interventions designed to reduce IWT?
  • What are the implications and risks of gender blind approaches?
  • What are the key knowledge gaps and priority areas for future interdisciplinary action research?
  • What opportunities exist for multi-stakeholder collaboration to move this agenda forward?

Other sessions from this event were recorded, and you can watch them on the ICCS Oxford Youtube channel.