When women and girls thrive, nature thrives.

Sustainable Development Goals.

Fishers. Scientists. Farmers. Entrepreneurs. Traders. Business owners. What do these have in common? They are professions held by women.

Empowering and investing in women and girls is good for women and good for the earth.  It significantly increases productivity and a more rapid COVID-19 recovery. It reduces hunger and malnutrition and improves rural livelihoods, for everyone—not just for women. Gender equity is associated with higher income per capita and faster economic growth. And women leaders can help to spread new norms, often persuading others to follow the rules or be vigilant towards unsustainable behaviors.

But historically, women have had unequal access and decision-making regarding natural resources, with their contributions undervalued and marginalized—especially in the developing world. Women are the hardest hit by natural disasters and pandemics. Worse yet, climate change exacerbates gender inequality and inequity. Solving the world’s environmental challenges requires confronting the widespread inequities facing women and girls.

Why Target Gender Equality and Equity

Gender infographic.

How We Are Promoting Gender Equity

Through Fish Forever, Lands for Life, and The Center for Behavior & the Environment, across 50 countries, Rare is focused on including and empowering women: strengthening their voices and enhancing their participation and decision-making power in managing their fisheries and farms, finances, and businesses.

We leverage behavioral and social science to promote gender equity. To do this, we address the social norms, attitudes, behaviors, and social systems that underlie them. Since the normative obstacles are many (e.g., the perception that women shouldn’t own property or control money, and that they must depend on men for their livelihoods), Rare focuses on shifting mindsets and behaviors of many actors toward gender equity, including men and boys, government officials, teachers, parents, and women and girls.

Through Fish Forever’s global gender strategy, for example, Rare is working to shift the attitudes and behaviors of fishers, community members, and local and regional authorities so that:

  1. Fishermen and fisherwomen can sustainably manage their fishery;
  2. Women’s roles in the fishing community are recognized, strengthened, and valued; and
  3. The benefits of engaging in sustainable fisheries management is equitably shared.

Globally, Rare is mainstreaming gender into our programmatic work and working to balance equity concerns with building resilience to climate change and environmental degradation.

In Palau, Surech and Adara harvest sea cucumbers for their intestines.

In very real ways, climate change thwarts the rights and opportunities of women and girls. These realities make gender-responsive strategies for climate resilience and adaptation critical. They make centering the rights, voices, and leadership of women and girls a necessity.”

Katharine Wilkinson, Co-Founder and Co-Director of The All We Can Save Project

Our Strategies for Promoting Gender Equity

Designing gender-responsive quantitative and qualitative research, trainings, social marketing campaigns, and fisheries and household, micro, and small business management plans.

Supporting local fishing and farming communities to form inclusive and transparent fisheries management bodies and committees.

Encouraging and supporting women to participate in natural resource management and take on leadership and decision-making roles (e.g., leading Campaigning for Conservation campaigns and participating in the BE.Center’s Behavior-Centered Design workshops).

Providing women access to and use of financial information and services (e.g., basic banking, savings accounts, formal loans, life, or hazard insurance), training, and extension services.

Collecting sex-disaggregated household-level data to inform program design and account for women’s efforts.

Integrating gender considerations into program design, delivery, and monitoring.


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Meet Local Female Leaders and Change Agents Around the World

  • Fatma from Solar Sister acceptin Solution Search award
    Through Fish Forever, Lands for Life, The Center for Behavior & the Environment, and Make It Personal, Rare works with women around the world to lead and make decisions about their natural resources. Click through to hear their stories.

    Photo: Fatma from Solar Sister accepting the Solution Search award.