The publication contains three main sections that address the relationship of gender-based violence to: access and control of natural resources; environmental pressures and threats; and environmental action.
It discusses how the struggle for the control of and access to natural resources exacerbates violence against women and girls.
A report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) investigates the links between gender-based violence (GBV) and environment. The publication lays bare how the struggle for the control of natural resources and environmental pressure and threats exacerbates violence against women and girls.
Titled ‘Gender-based Violence and Environment Linkages; The violence of inequality,’ the publication draws from over 1,000 information sources and stakeholder interventions as well as informant interviews and a validation workshop. It also derives from 300 responses to a GBV-Environment survey and a call for case studies that led to 80 submissions addressing both challenges and solutions to the issues.
The publication contains three main sections that address the relationship of GBV to: access and control of natural resources; environmental pressures and threats; and environmental action. The first section on access to natural resources discusses land, forests, agriculture and fisheries. It notes that GBV is often employed as a way to maintain power imbalances, violently reinforcing socio-cultural expectations and norms and exacerbating gender inequality.
The next section investigates the connections of violence against women and girls to illegal logging, wildlife trade, fishing, and mining, as well as large scale extractive industries, and climate and weather-based disasters. The publication highlights that “competition over scarce resources in and between communities, households and industries amplifies normative, discriminatory and exploitative gender inequalities, giving way to a rise in GBV.” A subsequent discussion of the situation of women environmental rights defenders concludes that “GBV is used to assert power imbalances and, at times, violently discourage or stop women from speaking out for their rights, working toward or benefiting from a safe and healthy environment.”
Gender-based abuse across environmental contexts affects the security of nations, communities and individuals, and jeopardizes meeting the SDGs.
Overall, the publication concludes that “patterns of gender-based abuse are observed across environmental contexts, affecting the security and well-being of nations, communities and individuals, and jeopardizing meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” The Executive Summary points out, however, that “while linkages between GBV and environmental issues are complex and multi-layered, these threats to human rights and healthy ecosystems are not insurmountable.”
The IUCN developed the report in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of the Advancing Gender in the Environment (AGENT) partnership. [Publication: Gender-based Violence and Environment Linkages; The violence of inequality] [IUCN Press Release]