Women, men and trees: Gender, power and property in forest and agrarian landscapes
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This paper is based on fieldwork, case studies, and on African literature review. The article analyzes the "gendered nature" of resource use and access to trees and forests. "Two-dimensional" maps are a limited representation of gendered labour, knowledge, places, and social organizations. These are complex overlapping intersects with historical, social, and environmental constraints. Legal rights and defacto rights can differ from control over resources. The author uses a multidimensional approach to analyze the use of trees, and forest tenure in Africa from three angles: 1) rights to own land; 2) control or management of spaces and places; and 3) differences in use of trees and their products. These factors also vary according to season, periodic events, kin relationships, and neighbourliness reciprocity. Land might be owned by a man, the woman might have access to some trees that she can only collect fuelwood and fruits, but only during the wet season. Often control belongs to the men, responsibility to provide products, and labour input belongs to the women.