Somehow it does not fit together - many forests are in the hands of women, but there are almost exclusively men in the various management boards of forestry interest groups and communities.

This dissonance was taken by the Forstfrauen with Dagmar Karisch-Gierer and the Styrian Forest Association as an opportunity to successfully initiate a project at European level. Fem4Forest started on July 1, 2020 with a wide variety of partner organizations from ten countries in the Danube region. The aim of this initiative is to support female forest owners in increasing the income from their forest and female employees to go about their careers in the forest sector. Forstfrauen and Forest Associations hope for maximum use of the potential and a multifaceted view of topics and challenges with which women in forestry are confronted. The overall contribution of the project lies in increasing the innovation and competitiveness of the forestry sector, the regions and the countries of the Danube region.

By recognizing their own strengths and skills and with the support of a mentoring and training program, women in forestry are made aware of their special skills. Increased self-confidence and strengthened courage should lead to women getting more involved in the management of their forests, employees in forest organizations dare to take on higher positions, demanding them and that they will find themselves in the future as managers and designers in forest communities, organizations and companies .

With the non-profit regional association nowa from Graz, which is extremely committed to dealing with gender equality issues, an organization is involved in the project's network that will contribute its expertise and competence in the field of gender issues, mentoring and further training. The education initiative INA of the Chamber of Labor in Agriculture of Styria and the agricultural college Grabnerhof support this project as well as forest plant breeder Lieco and thus ensure that the project results are disseminated at different levels.
After the project has ended, forestry will have successful models that have been developed and tested as part of pilot campaigns and should sustainably strengthen women in forestry.

Project facts:

DTP3-500-1.2 Fem4Forest, Project co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)

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