Haritima : The Environmental Society Of Hansraj College

Gender in Environmental Conservation

Women play a crucial role in understanding and conserving natural resources. By taking the examples , whether it was Chipko Movement, Bishnoi Movement or Narmada Bachao Movement, women played an important role in making those movements a success.

Yet women often are excluded from participating in community decision and policy-making regarding natural resource use. Taking into account the different roles and responsibilities of men and women is critical to the sustainable management of natural resources as well as the success of natural resource management (NRM) policies and programmes.

Natural resource management programmes may affect women and men differently due to their rights, roles and responsibilities. The unique roles men and women play in their communities leads to different bodies of knowledge about the environments around them. Due to their roles gathering resources like wood, water and forest products, not to mention subsistence agriculture, women have a unique understanding of the natural resources around them. However, if women are not specifically included in the design of policies and programmes this knowledge can be lost. Increasing women’s participation in decision-making will ensure greater success and sustainability of projects while properly safeguarding natural resources and enhancing the shared benefits of their careful use.

How can conservation and gender equality be achieved?

  • By giving the women place and voice in decision making and implementation.
  • By taking into consideration their role and responsibilities.
  • Allowing women at leadership positions.

By Nazim, Volunteer Reasearch and Development Wing

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