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Summing up Week 1 and a teaser for Week 2

Summary of Week 1 and the introduction to GEDI in forest and forest-related sectors

In Week 1, you learned why gender equality, diversity and inclusion are important for the future of forest-related sectors. Here is a short recap!

In the introduction video by Elias (Step 1.5) you learned that “sex” describes physical and biological attributes, while “gender” is a social construct and cultural interpretation of the physical and biological differences between men and women. Gender roles and specific gender norms and attributes are associated with men or women and, for example, describe behaviour considered appropriate for women and men at a given place and time. Gender roles change over time and vary across cultures. What we once thought were female/male traits due to biology are now understood as socially and culturally determined.

From Alice, Barbara, Tara, Rattiya, Jörg and Susanne’s examples you learned that gender roles and norms influence every aspect of forestry – from who does what in the forest, to what science is being done, or not done. Motivations and expectations to study forestry also differ between men, women, people of other genders and people of different ethnicities. In general, women and people of colour show greater hesitancy to study forestry.

In the article and audio by Alice and Barbara, you learned that whether we choose to see gender or not is built into our organisations and traditions and is not always a personal choice. When we as individuals or organisations decide to see and analyse gender, patterns emerge, and we can analyse differences in opportunities and career outcomes resulting from gender roles and norms. As Rattiya and Jörg wrote in their article, what women do in the forest is often not recognised in the formal economy – it is informal – but it contributes significantly to the livelihoods on many countries, for example, through fuelwood gathering.

Take away messages

The simple takeaway for Week 1 is:

If we remain blind to gender roles and other norms, we will never fully understand why we do forestry the way we do in different parts of the world.

So, we would be able to explain the adverse or beneficial outcomes of different forest management systems. We need knowledge about gender, diversity, and inclusion to make the best possible decisions about forests and their management for a prosperous future for all.


In Week 2, we will dive deeper into more concrete cases and learn about barriers to equality, diversity, and inclusion from different parts of the world. You will analyse cases from Indonesia, the USA, Ethiopia, and other regions and countries to deepen your knowledge and understanding of how gender, diversity, and inclusion are important parameters for forestry worldwide.

Step contributor

Dr. Ida Wallin, Swedish University of Agricultural Science (SLU), Sweden

This article is from the free online

Gender Equality, Diversity & Inclusion in Forestry-related Sectors (ForGEDI)

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