Scientific Publication

Introduction: contributions and gaps in gender and agroforestry


This collection of papers began with our recognition of the vital need to improve our collective record on gender and agroforestry. We have seen mistakes committed in dealing with communities, particularly women in communities,repeatedly and usually due to simple ignorance of local contexts, cultural patterns and issues. Building on this concern, Catacutan coordinated discussions and presentations at a Gender Session at the 3rd World Congress on Agroforestry (WCA) in New Delhi, Feb 10-14, 2014. These seeds have evolved since then, as we have identified additional papers that contribute valuably to our growing understanding of gender and Agroforestry. In introducing these papers, we make use of the Gender Box, a conceptual framework developed for analyzing gender roles in forest management (Colfer and Minarchek 2013).1 The Gender Box originally had two purposes: 1) to summarise topics that researchers have found to be of relevance for gender and forests, and 2) to make these topics more accessible to forestry scientists and managers desiring to expand their attention to gender and/or women. Here, we consider this framework’s applicability for gender and Agroforestry; we are inclined to consider it as readily applicable to Agroforestry as to forestry. Figure 1 shows the Gender Box;and Table 1 shows the Gender Box topics addressed in each article in our collection. Articles tend to address multiple topics, of course. The Gender Box is based on an assumption of the interconnectedness of different aspects of people’s lives, among scales, and over time; it recognises, however, that not all can be addressed simultaneously or in all programmes or projects. Catacutan and Naz, in their own study in Vietnam (this volume), also argue for a more holistic approach. They note that contraints to agroforestry adoption can not be single-handedly addressed by agroforestry interventions that have a linear focus on tree species and associated crops alone