Constructing a gender policy for joint forest management
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The author examines the gender-environment debate within the joint forest management (JFM) approaches in India. JFM has used two approaches: one to increase women's representation in local institutions and the other is to work to identify women's special knowledge and resources. Women Environment and Development (WED) argues that women's productive roles justify their inclusion on the debate. WED states that due to sexual division of labor, women are more dependent on nature therefore are most affected by environment degradation. In contrast, Gender and Development (GAD) does not recognize any 'special' relationship between women and the environment. GAD suggests that the relationship with the environment does not come from gender alone, both a combination of gender, class and occupation. JFM invites participation of 'one adult of the household' assuming adequate representation of the household, but the majority of participants are men. The article points out that even though there is limited information, it suggests that JFM has had a negative impact on women. The results show 'poor involvement of women and marginalization of forest dependent groups.' The author ends the article recommending that JFM adopts a more sophisticated gender approach to better monitor and understand JFM impacts on gender.