IUCN has focused on the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from biodiversity among women and men, among different communities, the developed and the developing world. The office of the Senior Gender Advisor began its work linking gender equity and equality to biodiversity in 2004, and has published since then a series of instruments and tools to promote the full and effective participation of women in all processes of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

In 2007 the Secretariat of the Convention and IUCN agreed to develop a gender mainstreaming process, similar to IUCN's for the CBD. The major achievement of this alliance has been the elaboration of a Gender Plan of Action for the Convention on Biological Diversity. This historical landmark has made the CBD the first multilateral environmental agreement to have a road map for ensuring the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

IUCN continues to provide technical support to the process of implementation of the Gender Plan of Action of the CBD, and support the participation of women from indigenous and local communities in the decision-making process of the Convention.