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close this bookWho Participates? The Case of Rural Women, an NGO and Joint Forest Management in Gujarat (IRMA, 1995)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAbstract
View the documentAcknowledgement
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentWomen and the environment: is there a special relationship?
View the documentForestry, the state and NGOs: organisational approaches to women's participation
View the documentAKRSP: gender, the organisation and joint forest management
View the documentJambar: the village, subsistence agriculture and forestry
View the documentAKRSP: forestry, village institutions and people's participation
View the documentMahila vikas mandals and the question of women's participation
View the documentConclusion: re-identifying women's role in forest management
View the documentReferences


In June 1994, AKRSP approached IRMA to undertake process documentation research on people's participation in Joint Forest Management in Bharuch district, Gujarat. As part of this larger three year study it was decided to look at the differences in men and women's involvement in the JFM project cycle and, by extension, its implications for their differential access to and control over forest resources. This paper is part of work in progress. It seeks to contextualise the relationship between women, men and forest resources in a project village, and analyse the institutional factors which constrain women's active participation (that is, decision making) in forest management.

While not negating the importance of women's right to decision making in forest management, this paper argues that the application of participation as a principle cannot be generalised. Women's, particularly poor women's, ability to participate has to be situated within the context of gendered organisational space (the Forest Department and village institutions) as well as, their livelihood strategies. Where women have adapted to the fuelwood shortage, their incentive to participate in the management of the plantation is limited. In addition, the demands of a predominantly rainfed, subsistence agricultural economy puts severe pressure on women's time and suggests that their priorities may not necessarily be the same as that of the NGO or the State.

*Assistant Professor, Institute of Rural Management Anand, India

Abbreviations used


Aga Khan Rural Support Programme


Extension Volunteer


Forest Department


Gram Vikas Mandal


Joint Forest Management


Mahila Vikas Mandal


Non-Governmental Organisation


Process Documentation Research


Participatory Rural Appraisal


Women, Environment and Development