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Women’s Participation in Forestry: Some Theoretical and Empirical Issues

Sarker, Debnarayan and Das, Nimai (2001): Women’s Participation in Forestry: Some Theoretical and Empirical Issues. Published in: Economic and Political Weekly , Vol. 37, No. 43 (2002): pp. 4407-4412.

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The Theoretical explanations that depend on WED, which focuses on the material role of women for women’s ‘closeness’ with nature, Ecofeminism, which emphasizes the natural and spiritual content of women for the same logic, and GAD, that firmly believes that gender-sensitive planning for JFM should be to find ways so that women can institutionalize the bargaining strength they have, are increasingly reflected in our National Forest Policy and in the JFM legislation of some of the States. This paper, in an attempt to examine the extent of women’s involvement in forestry and their role in JFM in West Bengal, a key precursor to the JFM concept for India, observes that despite women’s greater involvement in forestry, State JFM resolution has proved inadequate for ensuring their participation in community institutions. But the setting up of Female FPC in some areas of West Bengal by recent policy provisions has extended the scope of women’s active participation in Forest Management.

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