Advancing Gender in the Environment: Gender-Based Violence and the Environment

Under a partnership on Advancing Gender in the Environment (AGENT), IUCN works with USAID in strengthening environmental programming through gender integration and achieving gender equality outcomes. A key area of this partnership has been focused on researching the nexus between gender-based violence (GBV) and the environment, resulting in a report, Gender-based violence and environment links: The violence of inequality, that includes targeted recommendations. The study reviews and collates existing knowledge and experience from across the globe to inform how the integration of GBV prevention and response in environmental programming can be strengthened. 

As next steps, IUCN will continue to work with USAID and partners to develop targeted tools for integration into environment projects. In addition, USAID has launched a global challenge on Resilient, Inclusive, & Sustainable Environments (RISE) to identify and fund promising approaches that address GBV in programs that focus on the access, use, control and management of natural resources.

Our research spans numerous environment sectors and issues, reviewed the links and drivers between GBV, and the access to, use of and/or control over natural resources, including as related to:

  • Tenure rights
  • Livelihoods linked to natural resources
  • Energy
  • Water and sanitation
  • Protected areas and biodiversity
The study examines GBV within the context of natural resource governance and gender equality, reviewing its prevalence in:

  • Extractives
  • Environmental crimes
  • How attacks on environmental human rights defenders are carried out
  • Workplace and community violence experienced by women engaged in natural resource conservation activities
The impacts of instability and crises associated with climate variability and environmental degradation on GBV are also explored, including as related to:

  • Climate change
  • Armed conflict
  • Coping strategies
  • Humanitarian crises


The study: Gender-based violence and environment links: The violence of inequality

The press release: Environmental degradation driving gender-based violence – IUCN study

The blog: Threats to the environment are interlinked with gender-based violence across multiple contexts

Coverage by The Guardian: Climate breakdown ‘is increasing violence against women’

Coverage by GIZMODO Earther: Women face ‘pervasive’ violence in the face of the environmental crisis, report finds


On January 29, 2020, IUCN published a press release and a blog on it’s gender-based violence research and The Guardian published an exclusive on the study.

On January 29, 2020, IUCN published the results of its research: Gender-based violence and environment links. Click here to read the paper!

Past news:

On August 15, 2019, based on IUCN’s research, USAID has launched a Global Challenge to address gender-based violence in environmental sectors and contexts. Click here for more information and application details!

Blog post: 16 Days of Activism to shine a spotlight on gender-based violence (GBV) and the environment

Survey call: Linkages between gender-based violence (GBV) and the environment

Call for case studies: Gender-based violence (GBV) and the environment

Blog post: USAID and IUCN Partner to Advance Gender in the Environment

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