Women empowerment in Wildlife conservation

Women empowerment and equality is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These goals are a very thought-through plan to achieve a much more sustainable future for all of us. 

Women empowerment comes from many areas of everyday living. Let’s look specifically at gender equality in a professional environment. UN Women states that females work without pay 2.6 times more than males. These women do essential work for societies, economies, and families. However, it’s important to bring in an upright balance of duty for unpaid work between males and females. 

When it comes to the African continent, luckily several organisations are working on projects and programs devoted to women empowerment there. Wildchain too recognises the importance of female empowerment in all of our actions and programs. That is why Wildchain aims to support organisations that work closely with African women within agriculture, farming, and wildlife conservation. Women share a very close and unique relationship with the environment and nature, so we believe women hold an essential role in wildlife conservation.

Inspirational women empowerment programs and projects

Women empowerment of Samburu women

Mama Simba program

In Northern Kenya, Samburu hosts the biggest population of lions in the country. Ewaso Lions launched the Mama Simba program to involve local women in lion conservation. Women empowerment is at the heart of this program, encouraging females to make better choices for their families and communities.

Not only do women participate in conservation activities to prevent human-lion conflict but they also study the English language and driving.

Kruger National Park lions

Black Mamba rangers 

The Balule Nature Reserve is located in the Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa. It is a proud home for a team of army-trained ladies who protect the frontline. These female rangers got to observe the devastating results of poaching in person and decided that they don’t want this to be a part of their children’s future. Now, these women are not only amazing mothers but also leaders in their community.

Why is it important to involve women in environmental decision-making?

The majority of women in many parts of Africa live traditional lifestyles that don’t support gender equality. The division of labour is gender-specific, meaning that many positive and negative environmental results are confined to females. 

  • Women in Africa depend on ecological goods and services greatly. Actually, their whole livelihood relies upon the strength of the environment around them.
  • They are also unprotected from the results of the environmental crisis.
  • Females make many daily choices that affect the environment, such as how they grow food, how they gather water, how they carry out caregiving duties, and more.
  • Women hold a key role in raising children, teaching them the norms and values, so ladies have a direct and powerful influence on future generations.
  • Supporting and encouraging women to get involved in wildlife conservation work will create a much stronger and diversified force leading biodiversity conservation projects, and therefore improve environmental protection.

What can be done to promote women empowerment in wildlife conservation?

  • Women in Africa are sources of valuable information on wildlife crime and potential solution ideas. However, their voices aren’t often heard. Changing that would be a great start.
  • As mentioned earlier, women make daily choices that affect the environment and wildlife wellbeing, so equipping them with relevant knowledge, potential solutions and alternatives would be very empowering. Information on health, animal behaviour, environmentally-friendly alternatives to their everyday activities, wildlife-related laws, potential wildlife conservation work they can get involved in, and so on.
  • Women can be vulnerable to manipulation, especially if they are lacking awareness. African women often get involved in wildlife trafficking smuggling ivory and other wildlife products across borders. Women rarely get suspected as traffickers, so they have a higher success rate in this illegal activity.
  • Different studies show that women in Africa want a lot fewer children than their men. Yet, it is up to women to choose when and how often they want to take the risk and related burdens of bearing more children, right? In Africa, research shows a big number of deaths due to teenage and adolescent birth. Giving women relevant education and power to plan their families will minimise negative climate change issues and increase environmental sustainability. In other words, women empowerment will reduce out-of-control population growth greatly, which at the moment is one of the growing issues for environmental wellbeing. 

Educating women and giving them tools for action will lead to lasting improvements in the world’s wellbeing.  Women empowerment in wildlife conservation can become a game-changer, as they become true advocates and supporters of nature’s wellbeing.