Forest use in Nicaragua: Results of a survey on gendered forest use, benefits and participation

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Key results

  • Generalizations about gender and forests are misleading; detailed, comparative studies are needed to understand important contextual differences not only among world regions but also, as demonstrated here, within countries, among different cultures.
  • Gender biases lead men to underestimate women's work related to forests and overestimate their benefits and role in decision making, relative to women's own estimates.
  • In Nicaragua, forest resources, particularly firewood, are important for the vast majority of rural households studied; indigenous households, as well as indigenous women specifically, use and benefit from a much larger variety of forest resources than non-indigenous communities.
  • Of all the forest products mentioned by respondents, men extract more than women, except for craft materials in some locations.
  • Indigenous women are much more involved in the sale of forest products than non-indigenous women and are more likely to control the income from the products they sell.


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