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Title: Gender, participation and community forestry : the case of joint forest management in Madhya Pradesh, India
Author: Singh, R.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2001
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Informed by 'women, environment and development' (WED) and ecofeminist discourses, the importance of women's participation in community forestry is gaining wider acceptance among policy planners and development practitioners. These discourses assume an affinity between the goals of forest development and gender interests of women. This thesis questions the validity of this 'affinity' by exploring gender aspects of emergent community-based institutions in the context of the Indian model of community forestry, popularly known as joint forest management (JFM). Adopting a case study approach, the thesis focuses on the engendered nature of incentives, opportunities, and constraints to co-operation and participation in JFM practices. It chooses three villages in the Harda Forest Division of Madhya Pradesh for detailed study. The central thesis of the study is that there is a limited understanding on the part of foresters about the existing power relations and social hierarchies of the rural participating communities in JFM. The naivety of JFM practitioners more often than not, it is argued, results in skewed decision-making in favour of dominant groups. This limits the opportunities open to weaker sections, particularly women, to participate in community institutions. Field evidence on the patterns of forest use leads me to question the 'special' relationship between women and the forest in the dominant WED approaches. The evidence also demonstrates that women's relationships with the forest are rooted in the material realities of their overall livelihood strategies and in which forest-based activities constitute only one component.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available