Gender-responsive Sustainable Land Management

Gender equality is a key entry-point for SLM adoption, spread and upscaling. Therefore, WOCAT and UNCCD are working together to improve gender-responsiveness of SLM practices.

About the project

Direct and indirect gender-related barriers prevent women from adopting SLM practices. These barriers include land tenure insecurity; land availability; education or literacy levels; access to seeds, fertilizers, or extension services; and access to technologies and financing. As a result, women adopt SLM technologies at a rate that is typically lower and slower than that of men.

In line with the UNCCD Gender Action Plan (GAP) and guided by the idea to build back better, the aim of this UNCCD-WOCAT project is to:

  • add a gender lens to SLM Technologies and Approaches and assess their gender-responsiveness; and
  • evaluate how gender-responsiveness of SLM Technologies and Approaches can be improved, stepping up adoption and dissemination, making SLM beneficial for women and men alike.

This will support project planners, designers and implementers to identify, realize and scale gender-responsive SLM Technologies and Approaches within the framework of LD/SLM and LDN projects and programmes as well as promote the implementation of gender-responsive SLM practices in the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration.

Development of gender-responsive SLM tool

WOCAT and UNCCD designed a tool to assess the gender-responsiveness of SLM Technologies and Approaches and to identify areas of improvement. This tool supports project planners, designers, and implementers in their effort to scale up SLM Technologies and Approaches for women and men equally.

The gender-responsive SLM tool was reviewed during a UNCCD-WOCAT consultation  workshop with experts from different organizations and regions, resulting in the fine-tuning of the tool. Currently, the tool is being tested with WOCAT network partners in more than 10 countries around the globe, supporting it further refinement and facilitating a first round of data collection.

SLM Technology Group Profiles

The data from testing the tool showed clearly, that equal access to SLM Technologies and Approaches is both context- and technology-specific. Therefore, we have developed five technology groups specific profiles to show the need for action.

Our engagement continues

According to Decision 24/COP.15 the Parties encourage the UNCCD secretariat to continue collaboration with WOCAT to enhance the implementation of the Gender Action Plan and its road map, including to generate gender-disaggregated data, to inform gender-responsive policy design for achieving land degradation neutrality. WOCAT is therefore exploring meaningful goals and topics for a phase two of the project.

The Global WOCAT SLM Database should be enhanced with a new “gender module”, i.e. the gender-responsive SLM tool will be integrated into the Database. This will allow:

  • an online assessment of the gender-responsiveness of SLM Technologies and Approaches; and
  • the search for gender-responsive SLM Technologies and Approaches.

The gender module will be promoted and disseminated and interested partners and institutions trained in its application.




Nicole Harari

CDE Centre for Development and Environment
WOCAT Executive Team Member
nicole.harari( at )
Switzerland Switzerland

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Rima Mekdaschi Studer

CDE Centre for Development and Environment
SLM expert
rima.mekdaschi-studer( at )
Switzerland Switzerland

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Project duration