Advancing Gender in the Environment


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Advancing Gender in the Environment

Get AGENT updates

Engage with AGENT coordinators for more details


AGENT drives transformation toward a more sustainable and equitable future for all.


Recognizing women as agents of change, and the value of diverse knowledge, experiences and capacities of women and men alike, AGENT envisions a world that approaches environmental work at all levels with gender-responsive policy and action.

How AGENT Works?

Filling critical information gaps

Addressing knowledge gaps on gender across environmental contexts

Women are vital to conservation and resilience-building efforts, and women’s empowerment is intrinsically linked to achieving sustainable development. Yet, gender inequalities and gaps persist: AGENT works to fill critical knowledge gaps to enable gender-responsive, knowledge-based environmental action.

Making the case for gender integration

Spreading the word on gender and environment linkages

IUCN has unique networking abilities as an Intergovernmental Organization. A membership Union composed of 1,400 members from governments, indigenous organizations and civil society organizations and tapping over 15,000 experts through its commissions, IUCN provides public, private and non-governmental organizations with knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together. AGENT leverages this expansive base, promoting IUCN and USAID thought leadership by advancing knowledge, advocacy and capacity building at all levels.

Tailored technical support

Building capacities for gender equality through expert support

AGENT provides tailored technical support to USAID and IUCN activities with a specialized focus on women’s leadership, women’s economic empowerment and strengthened livelihoods. Technical gender specialists work closely with programs, projects and local stakeholders to develop and apply gender analyses and action plans, for example, and build specific strategies, tools and in-house capacities to address gender gaps and realize gender-responsive results.

An IUCN-USAID partnership​

Advancing Gender in the Environment (AGENT) is  a ten-year collaboration between the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GenDev) that was established in 2014. The purpose of the grant is to increase the effectiveness of environment programming through robust gender integration and improve gender equality and women’s empowerment outcomes in a broad range of environmental sectors.

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Why AGENT is important?

Gender equality and women’s empowerment are powerful levers for change.

Women are vital to conservation and resilience-building efforts, and women’s empowerment is intrinsically linked to achieving sustainable development. Yet, gender inequalities and gaps persist: women commonly face obstructed access to markets, capital, training and technologies; they are underrepresented in—if not restricted from—decision-making spheres at all levels. Women in much of the world do not have the same customary or legal rights to land, property and resources that men do, stripping them of critical means for survival and resilience. And while they hold crucial roles and responsibilities in natural resource management, women’s contributions, innovations and leadership are often overlooked. The result is a lost opportunity for environmental initiatives to achieve multiple benefits, amplify results and increase effectiveness, as gender equality and women’s empowerment leads to more successful, efficient and equitable development outcomes.

Archived AGENT work

Under its AGENT partnership, IUCN worked closely with Power Africa to incubate a network of over 1,000 members to support, elevate, and connect women with energy sector opportunities.

Through AGENT, IUCN developed a platform for climate mitigation practitioners on sharing best practices and lessons learned in mainstreaming gender in renewable energy projects and policies.

AGENT areas of work

Identifying and filling knowledge gaps, AGENT builds awareness and information on gender and environment issues across topics and sectors.

Gender-responsive national planning

Working with countries and partners on gender and environment links

Addressing gender-based violence

Advancing knowledge and action on risks and challenges

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics

Encouraging women and girls in STEM fields


Sustainable fisheries strengthened by gender equality and women’s empowerment

Sustainable landscapes

Addressing the business case for gender equality across large-scale activities

Adaptation and resilience

Strengthening adaptive capacities and preparedness to meet global challenges

Energy and infrastructure

Gender equality to power the global energy transition

Forests and restoration

Improved management and inclusive governance through women’s empowerment

Urban planning

Integrating gender considerations across urban services

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Influencing Action

Thought leadership in action.

AGENT’s outreach and advocacy activities have impact. From influencing investments, to new areas of research and to strengthened environmental policy setting, AGENT makes the case for gender integration across environmental sectors and programming. These impacts help advance gender integration throughout sustainable development initiatives, policies, projects, and partnerships — prioritizing a world that values gender-responsive policy and action.

Has the work of this platform inspired your own research, procurement, policy, or project?

Making the case snapshots

Effective advocacy. Policy influence. Tracking change.


From influencing gender-responsive environmental policy and procurements, to inspiring new incentive funds, IUCN’s work through AGENT works towards a more sustainable and equitable future for all. Review selected examples of change AGENT has influenced: