Scientific Publication

Women's participation in forest management: A cross-country analysis


The role of women’s participation in community forestry has recently been investigated in a number of theoretical and empirical papers. This paper takes an existing theoretical framework developed by Agarwal (2001) and applies it to examine two questions: (1) What determines women’s participation in forestry institutions? and (2) What effect does women’s participation have on institutional outcomes (such as levels of conflict and rule fairness)? To answer these questions data is used from two sources: (1) a detailed household survey conducted with 1.433 households in Bolivia, Kenya, Mexico, and Uganda and (2) a more aggregated dataset from forest associations investigated by the International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI) program in 10 countries. The analyses suggest that women’s participation is likely when institutions exist that are less exclusionary, when households have more education, and when there is small economic inequality in general and across genders in particular. A history of women’s participation, especially when women are seated on forest councils or attain leadership positions, is highly correlated with less disruptive conflict