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    186532
    Peer Reviewed

    Empowerment and disempowerment of forest women in Uttarakhand, India.

    Sarin M

    Gender, Technology and Development. 2001 Sep-Dec; 5(3):341-364.

    Empowering women of forest based societies to participate in local forest management has become an essential rhetorical commitment of donor funded 'participatory' forestry projects and state policies for devolution of forest management. Instead of increasing women's empowerment, the top-down interventions of a World Bank funded forestry project in Uttarakhand are doing the opposite by disrupting and marginalizing their own struggles and achievements, transferring power and authority to the forest department and local elite men. A number of case studies illustrate the project's insensitivity to the dynamic functioning of existing self-governing institutions and the women's ongoing struggles within them to gain greater voice and control over forest resources for improving their quality of life and livelihood security. The article argues for active engagement of forest women and their communities in the policy and project formulation process itself, which permits building upon women's and men's own initiatives and struggles while strengthening gender-equal democratization of self-governing community forestry institutions. (author's)
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