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Research Report

The gender box: A framework for analysing gender roles in forest management

Carol J. Pierce Colfer
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2013
Pages: 56
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-4)

    Within the world of professional forestry, there has been a growing recognition that gender roles, knowledge and interests have been under-acknowledged (e.g. Reed and Christie 2008, Lidestav and Reed’s 2010 special issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, Pottinger and Mwangi’s 2011 special issue of International Forestry Review). Two changes have stimulated this recognition. First, foresters’ concerns have evolved in such a way that they now see forests more holistically. Many now recognise, and try to incorporate into their management, elements such as biodiversity, ecological processes and human livelihood concerns.¹ The second change emerges from the first. For centuries,...

  2. (pp. 5-34)

    In this framework, these three scales—macro, meso and micro—comprise layers of influence on any given woman (many affect men too). The boundaries between scales are fluid and fuzzy; they represent more continua than discrete layers and, importantly, they mutually interact:⁹

    Within the macro level, I have opted to discuss issues of a) policy, law and other formal conventions, and b) less formal, but powerful cultural, religious and ‘modern’ notions.

    The meso scale is the most geographically diverse, ranging from formal administrative units (the state and below), to the supra community area inhabited by a particular ethnic, caste/class or...

  3. (pp. 35-35)

    As Lidestav and Reed (2010) point out, the issues discussed here ‘…will not be resolved merely by adding women to the mix of decision makers. Rather, [they] will require serious examination and reflection on longstanding cultural assumptions and practices’.

    If we take seriously the conclusion that gender involvement in forest management requires a holistic, systemic perspective, the research gaps are indeed gaping. Initial assessment in each forest and community would need to be conducted—an improbable outcome. But the simple identification of issues to keep in mind can move us forward toward more aware and conscious forest-related decision making.