Our mission: 

Fern’s Mission is to ensure the policies and practices of the European Union strengthen environmental and social justice. We seek a world in which environmental, social and economic justice is fully integrated at all levels and women and men irrespective of their background and ethnicity have a voice in decisions affecting their lives and livelihoods. We protect and restore forests by promoting and defending the rights of the women and men who depend on them.  

Fern believes in gender justice and women’s rights.

To achieve gender justice, we must start with an analysis of the specific needs of women, and the barriers they face at the community, national and global level. Where Fern and our partners work women often have less access to resources and face more constraints to participating in forest policy and governance processes. This means women’s voices, and the rights of women are often absent in discussions of forests’ role in all the areas Fern campaigns on.

Our position:

Fern will analyse the distinct roles, needs and contributions of men and women in different contexts and use these to underpin our campaigns. Where relevant we will design specific activities to ensure women are included in making decisions, shaping policies, and sharing in benefits.  Fern will show examples of women’s active role in protecting and restoring forests worldwide at all levels. Fern will initially focus on promoting women’s rights in all campaigns and challenge the worst examples of exclusive decision-making processes, but aspires to support the specific needs of all people who face discrimination.

Yassah Mulbah, community leader in Liberia

Fern’s commits to: 

  • Promoting gender justice in campaigning, networking and communications.
  • Improving understanding of how EU forest-related policies are affected by, and can improve gender justice.
  • Supporting and learning from partners to analyse and monitor their impact on women’s rights and power relations in communities they work with.
  • Ensuring that social justice is reflected in our values, strategies and work plans.
  • Developing a supportive organisational culture, internal systems and working conditions to ensure we attract and develop and maintain a diverse force.
  • Providing leadership through gender advocates accountable to Fern’s Board and staff, who develop, manage and encourage initiatives in line with these commitments.
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