HYDERABAD, INDIA (October 8, 2012)–  On Sunday, October 7th 2012, Andrea Quesada and Eleanor Blomstrom of WEDO and Vivienne Solis Rivera of Coopesolidar organized a workshop on Gender and the Convention on Biological Diversity for 10 participants, including members of the international team of advocates WEDO is supporting this year and funded by the CBD Secretariat. For the next two weeks of the conference, WEDO will host a daily women’s caucus to ensure that women’s views and perspectives are reflected in the negotiations.

The dynamic workshop day had a number of different sessions, beginning with the morning introductions that highlighted the diverse nature of the women and the skills they bring to the team, including oceans/marine, forest and REDD+, agrobiodiversity, and climate change.  Natasha McQuaid of the CBD Secretariat provided an overview of the structure of the Conference and answered questions. Discussions then began on the overarching issues that the Women’s Caucus wanted to focus on throughout the two weeks, including the CBD principle of sustainable use; capacity building, integrating gender into (strengthened) social and cultural targets; and guiding the role that gender will play in the CBD. Additionally, resource mobilization was identified as a crosscutting issue crucial to the success of the other objectives. Women reviewed the history of the CBD and its gender texts, a compilation of which was put together by WEDO prior to the start of the meeting and can be downloaded here.

Throughout the day, the women discussed entry points for gender and identified specific areas in the agenda where they had particular expertise and interest. Each topic and sub-topics was designated a color and was posted on the wall to illustrate focus areas of the group. Yellow signified overarching objectives, while other colors corresponded to agenda items.

Attendees took part in an activity that WEDO has carried out in a number of countries around the world to identify the most important needs of women. The components of gender equality in forests are listed as leaves on a large tree. Each person was given one post-it leaf and had to choose ONLY 1 component. Overwhelmingly the group identified participation as the most crucial component.

Coming out of the workshop, the women felt better prepared for the conference and knew they had the support of a diverse and experience group of women.


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