cattle on the assumption that they were the family heads, while women were allot-
ted small livestock, such as goats (Sylvain 2006 ).
The processes through which men gained control over material and non-material resources
and enhanced their influence and power within their communities were matched by wom-
en's loss of resources, power and influence. These developments were not merely of a struc-
tural nature. They were incorporated in San male and female identities (Becker 2003 : 16).
Among the San men, there may currently be no pronounced hierarchy in politi-
cal decision-making and in class differentiation (Chennells 2007 : 16), but between
men and women, gendered post-colonial hierarchical changes in relationships
have been significant. Men began to dominate the public domain and women's
participation in political affairs has dwindled (Sylvain 2006 : note 26).
6.4 Benefit-Sharing Guidelines Through a Gender Lens
We shall now look at the existing major international guidelines that contain provi-
We examine the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD 1992 ), the Bonn
Guidelines ( 2002 ) and the Nagoya Protocol (CBD 2010 ), the Declaration of
Helsinki (DOH) (WMA 2008 ), the 2002 Council for International Organizations
of Medical Sciences International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research
Involving Human Subjects (CIOMS 2002 ) and the HUGO Ethics Committee
Statement on Benefit Sharing (HUGO Ethics Committee 2000 ) in the light of the
• Are women's rights to free and prior informed consent (FPIC) recognized and
• Are women's rights to fair beneit sharing protected? If so, how?
• Are women's rights to fair participation and representation in negotiations and
decision-making recognized and protected?
6.4.1 Free and Prior Informed Consent
Informed consent is a concept drawn from medical ethics, where it means the 'vol-
untary, uncoerced decision, made by a sufficiently competent or autonomous person
on the basis of adequate information and deliberation, to accept rather than reject
some proposed course of action that will affect him or her' (Gillon 1985 : 113).
In the context of access to biodiversity and benefit sharing, prior informed con-
sent means the voluntary, uncoerced decision made by a group that legitimately
represents a community, on the basis of adequate information and deliberation, to
accept rather than reject some proposed course of action that will affect the com-
munity, before that course of action begins (Schroeder 2009 : 31).