The VPA Africa-Latin America Facility of the European Forest Institute has released a story describing the situation of women in the Ivorian forest sector, and the reinforcement of their role in the negotiation of the EU-Côte d’Ivoire FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA). The Agreement is reshaping the way forests are managed in Côte d’Ivoire.
Since 2018, Côte d’Ivoire has committed to taking measures to effectively integrate women into the management of the country’s forest resources.
This greater consideration of gender is also reflected in the negotiations of a FLEGT VPA with the European Union. The Agreement aims to improve Ivorian forest governance and ensure that timber and timber products exported to the EU are legal.
Several women representing the Ivorian civil sector and the public administration, as well as the European Union, have shared their views about the gender developments achieved in the negotiation of the VPA, and the challenges yet to overcome to achieve gender equality.
Ahoussi Delphine, president of MALEBI, an association of Ivorian rural women, highlighted that “if we talk about sustainable development, we cannot leave women out of decisions that affect forest management. It’s simple: if we want to succeed, we need women to be on board”.
For Chantal Marijnissen, chief VPA negotiator for the European Commission, “the negotiations of the Agreement must contribute to the recognition of women’s right to play a role in forest governance, and to be included in the sharing of economic benefits derived from forests”.
- Read the story: Ivorian women claim their place in the forest sector