The recent joint meeting of the Gender Equality network and the European Environmental Funders Group (EEFG) saw the two groups unite their knowledge and experience and seek to look at environmental problems, practices and policies worldwide, through a gender lens.
The meeting on the 13th of November took place shortly after the EEFG annual meeting at Philanthropy House, and saw the networks unite to find out more on what a gender lens is, its impact upon environmental policies and practices, the findings of a recent survey on funding practices and the next steps the two groups could take on gender and the environment.
An eye-opening interactive session by Debbie Pippard of the Barrow Cadbury Trust explored what a gender lens is, why we use it and how we use it. The session also featured an exercise questioning which organisations, and individuals in the room utilise a gender lens in their work, and provided a great visual and physical exercise to highlight the diversity in policy across the room.
The following session featured Charlotte Inglis, of the European Climate Foundation, moderating a discussion between the audience and a panel of Irene Dankelman, of the Radboud University and Annelieke Douma, of Both ENDS, over the usage of a gender lens in the environmental context. The discussions highlighted the amplified impact climate change, and issues such as deforestation or water pollution have on women in developing countries, but also explained the opportunities these issues presented.
In Indonesia for example, a programme providing women with the means to test water for pollutants served a dual purpose of maintaining and safeguarding the water supply, but also providing women with power in their communities, by being the gatekeepers of safe water, it gave them status. Programmes such as these targeting environmental issues or supporting gender equality exist worldwide but it was realised they often don’t collaborate together to amplify their impact and increase their efficiency, and the discussions over time sought to find means by which this problem could be avoided.
The final session of the day was a presentation of the first study conducted on combined gender and environmental funding by philanthropic organisations worldwide and was presented by Eva Rehse of the Global Greengrants Fund. The study illuminated many opportunities for future funding but also the huge disparity that funding has based on its location and the funding organisation. For example, approximately 0.2% of philanthropic funding worldwide goes onto joint gender and environmental issues and this figure becomes 0.007% if the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is removed, highlighting the lack of attention that joint gender and environmental issues receive.
These discussions all raised calls for further collaboration on the issues presented but also for further joint discussions and meetings on how both networks can work together on shared issues with an eye on amplifying their impact and sharing knowledge and experience.
The European Environmental Funders Group (EEFG) and Gender Equality network are part of the EFC’s ongoing commitment to enhancing collaboration and connecting its members. For more information on the EFC’s seven key priorities, please download the EFC Strategic Framework 2016-2022.