The major importance of 'minor' resources: Women and plant biodiversity


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London, UK: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)


Due to women's assigned tasks and roles, women have developed specific knowledge of plants. Women are plant breeders, seed custodian, and gather plants for medicinal, culinary, fuel, crafts, construction, and fodder purposes. The plant use, management, and conservation occur within the household which makes this knowledge invisible and undervalued by the outsider. This fact creates gender biases in research, and scientific knowledge, which in turn affects the impact of projects and policies. Traditional knowledge and indigenous rights to plants are not gender neutral. In order to achieve sustainable conservation of biological diversity one needs to pay greater attention to gender. It is important to recognize the role women play in transmitting traditional knowledge and practices. Also, it is important to recognize indigenous rights and women's rights to plants and land resources.



Plants, Biodiversity, Women, Indigenous community, Agrobiodiversity, Local knowledge, Gender, Plant variety protection, Biodiversity conservation, Gender, Gender bias, Plant conservation, Biological diversity, Plant biodiversity, Traditional knowledge, Field Scale


IIED Gatekeeper Series No. 112