Women Forum Launch 2023

Empowering Women in Wildlife Conservation

The recently concluded women’s forum event at Lumo Conservancy marked a significant milestone in the journey towards gender equality in wildlife conservation. With a resounding call for inclusivity, empowerment, and collaboration, the event brought together passionate women from various walks of life to address the pressing issue of involving women in matters of wildlife conservation. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the key highlights of the event and the importance of amplifying women’s voices in preserving our planet’s precious biodiversity.

This women’s forum was inspired by the findings of the SAGE Report that highlighted a key concern of gender equality in wildlife conservation matters. A women forum was to set up to ensure women from the three ranches participate in the decisions making of the conservancy.
Lumo stakeholders come from fourteen sublocations in four locations. Each sub location was represented
by two women, coming from the three ranches, making a total of 28, while other women came from the
local communities near LUMO conservancy making the total number of women to 40.

The Lumo Conservancy, nestled in the heart of nature’s bounty, served as an idyllic backdrop for this momentous gathering. Against the stunning backdrop of majestic wildlife and pristine landscapes, the forum brought together an array of dedicated individuals, each a champion in their own right. Attendees included Lumo Conservancy Board of Trustees Chairperson Flora Kala, Lumo Conservancy Manager Jospeh Mzozo, Gender Officer of the Taita Taveta Wildlife Conservancies Association (TTWCA) Maureen Nduati, Lumo Liaison Officer Purity Manyatta, and Lumo Conservancy Head Ranger Sergeant Ludovicka Malemba.

Also, among the keynote speakers were women who were present during the pre-establishment of the
LUMO Conservancy in the late 1990s, who were present to discuss on how women were involved in
conservation efforts back then but within some time, their degree of involvement reduced.

Presentation of the SAGE Report

Miss Purity Manyatta made a brief presentation of the SAGE
Report highlighting some of the key factors outlined in the report. Women involvement in the conservation
activities in LUMO Conservancy was the key topic of discussion.

Facilitated by the gender officer, women were divided into three groups to discuss the overall role of
women in wildlife conservation and some of the barriers that that are slowing down their efforts in
getting involved in conservation activities. Participants were able to learn from one another with
insights from the gender officer.

Exploring Women’s Roles and Contributions

A central theme of the event was the exploration of the roles that women play in wildlife conservation. Panel discussions delved into the multifaceted nature of these roles, highlighting the often-overlooked contributions that women make at every level of the conservation process. From community engagement to creating awareness on the importance of wildlife conservation, women have been pivotal in driving positive change and shaping conservation efforts.

Challenges and Triumphs

No conversation about progress is complete without acknowledging the challenges that come with it. Attendees engaged in candid discussions about the obstacles that women face in the wildlife conservation field. From gender stereotypes to limited access to resources and decision-making positions, the barriers are significant. However, these discussions were infused with a spirit of optimism, as participants shared stories of their personal triumphs and strategies for overcoming these challenges.

Driving Toward Inclusivity: Actionable Insights

The Lumo Conservancy women’s forum wasn’t just about talking; it was about driving tangible change. The event concluded with participants brainstorming and formulating actionable strategies to foster gender inclusivity in wildlife conservation. Ideas ranged from mentorship programs and capacity-building initiatives to advocating for policy changes that promote equal opportunities for women.

A Call to Action

As the sun set on the Lumo Conservancy, it marked not just the end of an event but the beginning of a new chapter in wildlife conservation. The forum’s discussions and insights will undoubtedly reverberate throughout the conservation community, igniting a wave of change and inclusivity.

The Lumo Conservancy women’s forum serves as a powerful reminder that when women are empowered and included, the impact reaches far beyond gender equality. It’s about harnessing the untapped potential of an entire half of the population to create a more harmonious coexistence between humans and wildlife.

In the heart of Lumo, a seed of change has been sown. As it takes root and flourishes, we can look forward to a future where women stand shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts, leading the charge in safeguarding our planet’s most precious treasures.