A man and a woman with the man holding a baby in Timor Leste.

Changing gender norms in Timor Leste

The link between gender inequality and climate change isn’t always clear, but evidence shows that women are often disproportionately affected by climate change.

MSI in Timor Leste works with Blue Ventures – a marine conservation organisation dedicated to working in a holistic way with coastal communities – to provide communities with improved reproductive choice services, including access to contraception.

Blue Ventures holds men’s groups on the island, which comprise mostly of local fisherman.

The groups explore existing power dynamics, structures and social norms that are the root causes of gender inequality. Gender training is an important part of MSTL’s programming, in response to the high prevalence of gender-based violence and the powerful role men play in a woman’s ability to exercise reproductive rights and  access family planning in Timor-Leste.

The program focused on health, conservation, alternative livelihoods, and empowering women and communities. Women and men are healthier, better able to take care of their families, and have governance and livelihoods systems in place that will make them more resilient to shocks and stresses resulting from a phenomenon such as climate change.