An inside view of the EGI: Barbara Clabots
This post was written by EGI Intern Barbara Clabots. August 28, 2016
I’ve worked with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Global Gender Office (GGO) over the past 18 months, and my role has been to research and analyze data for the Environment and Gender Information (EGI) platform. Prior to working with IUCN, a lot of my experience focused on environmental outcomes. At IUCN, I learned how to integrate social and environmental outcomes together.
One of the most interesting aspects of this work was finding ways that we can measure or track gender equality. Some of these ways of measuring equality were initially developed by anthropologists and sociologists in the 1980’s; today, gender experts around the world continue to refine and expand these approaches.
I learned how to measure gender equality in many different ways, including counting the number of men and women in positions of decision-making power and analyzing national reports and other texts for their approach to gender issues.
- For the study on women in environmental decision-making, we counted the women and men that act as heads of environmental ministries, such as energy, agriculture and water.
- To study gender in REDD+ Readiness Preparation Proposals, we searched the proposals for keywords like “women” and “gender equality” and identified whether the proposals included sex-disaggregated data.
- For the study on gender focal points in environmental ministries, we analyzed survey results to assess how gender considerations are being included in environmental policies and programs.
As part of the EGI team, I helped to develop many factsheets, briefs and reports to share these results. One of the things I most enjoyed in this process was that I got to challenge myself to present the results clearly and also in an interesting way. Working with my colleagues on the EGI team and our talented designers, I developed data visualizations like a universal power symbol to represent women’s participation rates in the World Energy Council and a tree to show gender keywords in forestry management proposals. I’m proud of that tree, and other people have liked it as well! IUCN GGO even used this visualization in a collaboration with many other organizations in the Global Gender and Environment Outlook (page 159).
Most importantly, at IUCN I learned that if we can measure gender equality, then we can describe goals to empower women in the environmental sector. To see environmental management through a “gender lens” this way has been really powerful to me, and I hope to put this expertise to use through my career in environmental policy.
Barbara Clabots: Biography
Barbara has seven years of experience in conservation research. She has lived in and near protected areas in Costa Rica, Mexico and the Phillippines, and studied their ecology as well as their human dimensions. Her academic background includes a B.S. in Biology and Spanish from St. Louis University and a Masters of Marine Affairs from University of Washington. She is passionate about bringing a gender-focused lens to environmental management with her experience developing research on women’s involvement in marine protected areas. As a swimmer/diver/surfer, she is also a water quality activist with Surfrider Foundation in Seattle.