Forests in Women’s Hands

Online from WALDCAMPUS Austria | 12 – 13 April 2021

Forests in Women's Hands
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About the Conference

At the international Forests in Women’s Hands conference from 12 – 13 April 2021, connecting women in forestry will be a central theme. Participants will meet members of existing women’s networks and have the opportunity to exchange best practice examples and discuss relevant activities and initiatives. Additionally, the conference will increase the visibility of women and their achievements in the forest sector.

Forest owners, practitioners, decision makers, and academics will address questions such as: Why and for whom is gender equality important? What enables or prevents gender equality from being achieved in society and organizations? What determines if interventions contribute to achieving goals?

The conference is supported by the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism, coordinated by the Austrian Research Centre for Forests (BFW) and sees as organising partners the Austrian Women in Forestry Association (Forstfrauen), the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) and the International Forestry Students’ Association (IFSA). Due to the currently still critical situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference Forests in Women’s Hands will be held online.

FiWH Testimonials

IFSA Engagement

As the global forestry sector faces great challenges in terms of gender disparity, it has become increasingly necessary for every stakeholder involved to contribute to achieving gender equality in forestry for every person working for our environment and planet. Youth, the definitive stakeholders of the future of forestry, are no exception to this. IFSA as such, in addition to the relentless work focused on forest education, cultural understanding among students and early career professionals, aims to raise awareness on social matters and reach inclusiveness of any gender or provenience in forestry.

The strong engagement of youth, connected to forest education, is essential in the process of raising awareness for gender equality in forestry. Hence, IFSA has decided to take a stand and become one of the Organizing Partners of the Forests in Women’s Hands conference.

IFSA Program

In order to involve youth and amplify their voices, all the while contributing to finding solutions for the challenges surrounding gender in forestry, an online IFSA delegation will join the conference and take part in several activities organised by IFSA, specifically to target youth, such as:

  • Webinar Series, leading up to the conference, to engage with professionals in the field and informal education training platforms prior to the event;
  • Pre-Conference Day;
  • Communication related activities, including testimonial interviews, social media posting, blog writing, production of an online learning course;
  • Communication and logistical support to the organisers of the event;
  • IFSA booth at the information conference market;
  • Youth representation during the Opening Ceremony and “Stakeholder Dialogue” panel discussion.

Webinar Series

IFSA, with the support of the IUFRO TF on Gender Equality, has developed a webinar series on gender & forestry, which will take place leading up to the conference. Its aim is to shed light on the topic and provide learning opportunities for forestry students to solve today’s challenges surrounding gender in forestry.

Pre-Conference Day

To involve youth and amplify their voices, all the while contributing to finding solutions for the challenges surrounding gender in forestry, an online IFSA delegation will be selected to take part in a Pre-Conference Day.

The training for the Pre-Conference Day will take place online with the aim of engaging IFSA members in view of the upcoming conference, enhancing their knowledge and understanding of the gender equality matter. It is structured in several interactive workshop sessions, tailored to stimulate a discussion by reflecting on gender norms and related challenges and focusing on the role that youth can play in the development of a new long-term strategy to achieve gender inclusiveness and equality in IFSA. The event seeks to empower the delegates and foster their capacity to address issues related to gender matters, while building a better understanding of the event through knowledge, networking and orientation.


Where: Online via Zoom

Date and time: Friday, 9 April 2021, 2-6 pm UTC+2

Delegate requirements: The maximum number of delegates will be approximately 30. Even if the event is targeted to IFSA members, students who currently are not IFSA members are warmly invited to apply as well!

Deadline for applying: 25 March 2021

Disclaimer: It is requested to be able to participate during the whole Pre-Conference Day and the Forests in Women’s Hands conference on Monday & Tuesday 12 & 13 April 2021.

Contribution to other IFSA activities: IFSA will carry out several different activities prior, during and after the conference, such as social media coverage, blog/report writing, etc. As a delegate you can contribute to these tasks based on your experience and skills.

Certificate: A certificate of participation will be issued at the end of the conference, upon participation to both the Pre-Conference Day and the FiWH conference.

Apply for the Pre-Conference Day

Meet the Team

Barbara Öllerer

Many times, gender imbalance is exclusively seen as a women’s issue. However, it is an issue that affects not only women, but the entire forestry sector and society as a whole.

Damiano Cilio

I didn’t fully realise how gender discrimination affects our field until I started to travel for my studies and got the opportunity to see it with my own eyes: it happens much more often than we think.

Pedro Almeida

Forestry is much more than trees, it’s working with people and the interactions we have with them. For us foresters, to do our job competently, we need social issues in forestry to be addressed and brought to public attention.

Mayté López

Even though women have more and more opportunities, we still have to continue opening the way for more of us. IFSA gives us the opportunity to get involved as key players in the change that the forestry sector needs.

Iris Oberklammer

Many people hardly think about how their performed and perceived gender influences their lives. We gain and we lose following traditional gender roles. Personally, I believe in being human before anything else and would wish for more people to do that.
To get in touch with the FiWH Task Force write an email to [email protected]