Gender Issues in Large-scale Land Acquisition: Insights from Oil Palm in Indonesia

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The oil palm boom in Indonesia continues to be a major driver of land acquisitions in remaining tropical forest frontiers, drawing on a wide range of actors into its production, and transforming both rural landscapes and livelihoods in the process. The growing body of research and evidence on the social and economic effects of oil palm expansion does not adequately consider the gender dimensions of the oil palm boom, thereby lacking a balanced view of both women’s and men’s experiences. This is in spite of the overlapping and distinct ways in which women and men are engaging in the oil palm economy as workers, members of smallholder households and communities risking displacement from the expansion.
This report attempts to rectify these knowledge gaps by considering women’s voice and agency in decisions related to palm development, and the gendered distribution of associated benefits and costs from oil palm development.

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