Gender biases persist in forestry research and practice. These biases result in reduced scientific rigor and inequitable, ineffective, and less efficient policies, programs, and interventions. Drawing from a two-volume collection of current and classic analyses on gender in forests, we outline five persistent and inter-related themes: gendered governance, tree tenure, forest spaces, division of labor, and ecological knowledge. Each emerges across geographic regions in the northern and southern hemisphere and reflects inequities in women’s and men’s ability to make decisions about and benefit from trees, forests, and their products. Women’s ability to participate in community-based forest governance is typically less than men’s, causing concern for social equity and forest stewardship. Women’s access to trees and their products is commonly more limited than men’s, and mediated by their relationship with their male counterparts. Spatial patterns of forest use reflect gender norms and taboos, and men’s greater access to transportation. The division of labor results in gender specialization in the collection of forest products, with variations in gender roles across regions. All these gender differences result in ecological knowledge that is distinct but also complementary and shifting across the genders. The ways gender plays out in relation to each theme may vary across cultures and contexts, but the influence of gender, which intersects with other factors of social differentiation in shaping forest landscapes, is global.
Authors and Publishers
Who We Are
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is made up of 29 agencies and offices with nearly 100,000 employees who serve the American people at more than 4,500 locations across the country and abroad.
What We Do
We provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management.
Cornell is a privately endowed research university and a partner of the State University of New York. As the federal land-grant institution in New York State, we have a responsibility—unique within the Ivy League—to make contributions in all fields of knowledge in a manner that prioritizes public engagement to help improve the quality of life in our state, the nation, the world.
Bioversity International is a global research-for-development organization. We have a vision – that agricultural biodiversity nourishes people and sustains the planet.
We deliver scientific evidence, management practices and policy options to use and safeguard agricultural and tree biodiversity to attain sustainable global food and nutrition security.
We work with partners in low-income countries in different regions where agricultural and tree biodiversity can contribute to improved nutrition, resilience, productivity and climate change adaptation.
The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is a non-profit, scientific facility that conducts research on the most pressing challenges of forest and landscapes management around the world. With our global, multidisciplinary approach, we aim to improve human well-being, protect the environment, and increase equity. To do so, we help policymakers, practitioners and communities make decisions based on solid science about how they use and manage their forests and landscapes.
CGIAR is the only worldwide partnership addressing agricultural research for development, whose work contributes to the global effort to tackle poverty, hunger and major nutrition imbalances, and environmental degradation.