Gender-based violence and environment linkages
The violence of inequality


Author: Itzá Castañeda Camey, Laura Sabater, Cate Owren and A. Emmett Boyer.
Jamie Wen, editor

Bibliography: Castañeda Camey, I., Sabater, L., Owren, C. and Boyer, A.E. (2020).
Gender-based violence and environmental links: The violence of inequality. Wen, J. (ed.). Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. 272pp.



Around the world, rooted in discriminatory gender norms and shrouded in impunity, gender-based violence (GBV) occurs in all societies as a means of control, subjugation and exploitation that further feeds gender inequality. GBV is used as a form of socio-economic control to maintain or promote unequal and gendered power dynamics across all sectors and contexts, including in relation to the ownership, access, use and benefits from natural resources. Gender-based violence and environment linkages: The violence of inequality reviews the ways in which the potential for violence related to natural resources is particularly augmented in the face of natural resource scarcity, environmental stressors and threats.

Reviewing over 1,000 sources of information, gathering nearly 100 case study submissions and having analyzed survey responses from over 300 practitioners along with numerous expert-informant interviews, this study focuses on three major areas where GBV-environment linkages act as barriers to equitable, effective, rights-based conservation and sustainable development: access and control over natural resources; environmental pressures and threats; and environmental action to conserve, defend and protect natural resources. Produced by the International Union for Conservation (IUCN) under its partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Advancing Gender in the Environment (AGENT), this study presents findings on GBV-environment linkages towards supporting strengthened action across sustainable development and conservation sectors.


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An Intergovernmental Organization uniquely composed of both government and civil society members, IUCN is the world’s largest and oldest environmental network, harnessing the experience of over 10,000 experts. The Gender Team sits within the Union’s Global Programme on Governance and Rights.