Panel 6


Methods and approaches for analysing gender differences in rights of access to the usage, and management, of forests and tree products

Friday 8 June 15.00-17.00, Fujisan Hall

Presented Papers

For more information on this panel, contact Yen Mai.


Mainstreaming gender into climate change adaptation and mitigation

Anne Marie Tiani, Bele Youssoufa, Pavageau Charlotte, Sonwa Denis

Vulnerability to climate change is partly shaped by gender roles and relations, with poor, rural women in developing countries generally being considered to be the most vulnerable to climate change. This vulnerability is explained by their high levels of dependence on climate sensitive resources for livelihoods and a low degree of adaptive capacity. It is strengthened by the fact that more often, women have few income- earning opportunities, less power in their communities, and disproportionate burden in household activities. Climate change can exacerbate existing inequalities between and among women and men and intensify gendered experiences of poverty. To capture men and women specific knowledge and priorities for forest and forest goods and services, to sort out gender differential access rights, capabilities and vulnerability to climate change, a gender approach has been used throughout the research component of COBAM project, implemented by CIFOR under the African Development Bank grant to the Economic Community of Central African States for financing the Congo Basin Ecosystems Conservation Support Program. This implies adopting systematically gender-specific research questions, either when analyzing policy documents on climate change or capturing people’s perception using focus group discussions approaches and tools. Our first results show that vulnerability to multi-stressors including climate change and responses are gender sensitive. But whether men or women are the most sensitive depend on various other factors, including income strategies (diversified vs. focus), type of forest, sensitivity of main activities to climate hazards and room to maneuver into different strategies.


Using the PEN dataset to investigate myths and realities about men, women, and forest use across three continents

Terry Sunderland, Achdiawan, Ramadhani; Angelsen Arild; Babigumira Ronnie; Ickowitz Amy; Paumgarten, Fiona; Reyes-García, Victoria; Shively, Gerald

The Poverty Environment Network (PEN) has gathered comparable income and forest use data from about 8,000 households in 360 villages spread over 24 developing countries across three continents. This study uses the PEN global dataset to question currently held assumptions about the gender differentiation of forest product collection and use. We test some of the commonly held ideas on how men and women access, manage, and use different forest products. This global comparison highlights the similarities and differences that exist among regions. While we confirm some of the findings that derive from individual case studies, we find that most are not universal. We find considerable gender differentiation in the collection of forest products, which seems to support the claim that there are ‘male’ and ‘female’ roles associated with the collection of forest products. However, we find that the contribution of men to the household forest product portfolio is much greater and broader than previously considered particularly in Asia and Latin America. The value of forest products collected by men was larger than that collected by women in both Asia and Latin America, although the common perception of female dominance in forest product collection holds in the African sub-sample. In addition, out of the seven aggregate forest product categories used in our analysis, men contributed a higher share value than women in four categories, suggesting that men’s contribution is not limited to only a few high value products. The conventional wisdom that women collect more forest products in common property tenure regimes holds in Latin America and Asia, but not in Africa. A regression analysis of the determinants of women’s share of income from forest products showed marked variation across the continents. One of our key findings is that there are very strong differences across continents in the gendered use of forests.


Methods for analysing gender roles in forest products chains in the Congo Basin

Verina Ingram

Research on the value chains of ten forest products originating from Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo has highlighted that while women generally dominate the value chains in numbers, their activities and roles in the chains and benefits vary greatly. Women’s activities in many different stages in the chains are largely invisible, informal and not acknowledged in development-, forestry-, and agricultural policies. For the majority of women, non-timber forest products are an important source of household cash income for those involved in harvesting, processing and retailing and cash revenues used mainly to meet basic family needs. Preliminary results indicate men in contrast use forest products income differently for larger one off investments and to support other household activities. There are strong, gender differentiated customary norms governing tenure and access rights, with women generally limited to managing crops and wild harvested forest products and not possessing or harvesting valuable tree species. This paper will explain the methods used to conduct value chain analysis using sustainable livelihoods, governance and participatory action research conceptual frameworks and how gender issues in value chains can be analysed. Key issues in the methods used include methods to understand and analyse plural forest governance regimes (customary, regulatory, voluntary and hybrid) at multiple scales; how to gain in-depth understanding of the chain and the interrelations with access, tenure and product values; the selection of participatory and data collection methods and implications for analysis; balancing scale and depth with practical cost and time issues; and methods for tracking gender-differentiated impacts of so called pro-poor interventions in forest value chains such as agroforestry, increased commercialisation, capacity building and value-adding activities.

Gender in forestry research in Indonesia: practical lessons: from dealing with diversity and complexities

Elizabeth Linda Yuliani; Adnan, Hasantoha

In the last few decades, there have been growing concerns over discrimination against women, leading to the increasing number of international agreements, funding and national legislation frameworks aimed to promote gender equity. In Indonesia, an umbrella policy was declared in 2000 through Presidential Instruction no. 9/2000 on Gender Mainstreaming. However progress and achievement are often not as expected; key government officials still show resistance on gender issues; meanwhile researchers, field facilitators and extension workers often lack conceptual knowledge and technical skills. Our research projects in Jambi, West Kalimantan, and Southeast and South Sulawesi provinces in Indonesia are aimed to promote sustainable and equitable forest management among gender and stakeholder groups across levels. Each site has different social and cultural characteristics, e.g. distribution of roles and responsibilities between men and women, knowledge on natural resources, cultural perspectives towards women, tenure and access to resources, etc.

We have used Action Research approaches to promote bottom-up policy mechanisms, trigger learning, and at the same time to collect data for our own research. This paper shares our experience, including constraints and lessons learned throughout the projects, and the process of methods development to respond to cultural diversity and differences across sites. In Jambi and West Kalimantan, we learned what research and learning methods, assumptions and indicators have and have not worked, and we discuss the modifications we made. In Sulawesi, we are learning how to adjust the methods to respond to different tenure systems and high heterogeneity of the communities. There are also some important institutional arrangements required to support development and research activities that promote gender equity. Some important lessons include the usefulness of (1) changing from a problem-based approach to an asset- based one and (2) identifying the right entry points, with women’s initial activities in facilitation of critical importance in avoiding men’s resistance.