RURAL WONXE, FOREST
This publication forms part of FPO's Forestry for Local Community Development
(PLCD) Programme. It has been made possible by a special contribution from the Swedish
International Development Authority.
The purpose of the FLCD Programme is to encourage and support forestry activities
which can help rural people in developing countries meet such basic needs as food, fuel
and housing materials and which can enhance their income, well-being or environmental
situation. It focuses on forestry activities which can be executed through the direct
participation of the people concerned and on helping provide the support they need in
order to make such participation possible.
Many such local level forestry activities are of particular importance to rural
women. Women depend upon outputs from the forest in meeting some of their more critical
needs such as fuel with which to cook the family's food, and for some of their more
important opportunities for earning income. Without the participation of women many
forestry projects will fail.
The present publication is intended to help those involved in planning and
managing forestry projects to identify the specific concerns of women in the project
area and to define the components that will need to be incorporated into a project in
order to meet these concerns and needs, and to facilitate women's participation and
involvement. To this end it begins by describing some of the more commonly occurring
linkages between rural women and forestry and then identifies the main factors influen-
cing their participation. It concludes by translating these into concrete guidelines
for use in the field.
The publication has been prepared for PAO by Marilyn W. Hoskins, Director of
Participatory Development Program, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University,
U.S.A., and consultant on the subject of forestry and women to several aid agencies.
The present document, based on material presently available, is an interim version
of the planned final publication. It is being circulated in this form to invite those
working on forestry projects to both comment on the usefulness and practicality of the
guidelines and to make available more information on specific instances where there has
been a strong relationship between rural women and forestry. Attention is drawn to the
annex in which readers are invited to provide such case material, which should be sent
to the Community Forestry Officer, Policy and Planning Service, Forestry Department,
F.A.O., Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy. Any such material and
comments will be most useful in improving the guidelines and in expanding their coverage.
J.E.N. Arnold, Chief
Policy and Planning Service
- iii -
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. RURAL WOKN AND NATURAL RESOURCES 1
WOKE' S ECONOMIC ROLES 1
WOMEN AND CHANGING RESOURCE AVAILABILITY 2
II. WOKEN'S PARTICIPATION 7
'HAT IS PARTICIPATION FOR WOM E ? 7
FACTORS INFLUCING PARTICIPATION 9
Historic and Geographio 12'
III. PROJECT CYCLE 15
PROBLEM AND PROJECT IDENTIFICATION 15
PROJECT DESIGN 18
ANNEX: WOMEN IN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT Case Study Format -
- 1 -
World-wide attention is currently focused on declining availability of forestry
related natural resources. Rural women in less industrialized societies have direct,
specific concerns. They find competition is increasing for resources essential for
satisfying the basio nseds of their families. This paper seeks to identify areas in
which women's and foresters' concerns and skills may complement each other and to provide
guidelines useful for collaborative activities for addressing problems of local natural
Progranae designers have expressed growing concern over the number of resource
related projects which fail to gain effective local support or whih even attract
animosity. One major factor, which recent studies have amply demonstrated, needs to be
added into project considerations. World-wide, the majority of subsistence agricultural
labour inputs as well as the related decisions about forest and farm-land use are made by
women. Seed selection and storage, fertilizer use, vegetable gardening, cutting
branches for fodder, and many other such activities are often in women's domain. Intro-
dnoed changes in the management of these resources will not be lasting until women opt
for new approaches; projects based on new management techniques on household land will
fail without the support of women. The following sections look at women' s relation to
resources and the impact of growing scarcities, and how resource management programies
can be designed with women's participation.
I. RURAL WOKEN AND NATURAL RESOURCES
WOIN' S ECONOMIC ROLES
Historically, women all over the world have had both nurturing and economic roles.
While men went great distances to hunt, women gathered seeds and plants near their camps
or homes while soaring for the children. Almost everywhere women transported water or
wood, prepared the grains and vegetables, built the fires, and cooked the meals. People
lived as conveniently close to water, wood and natural vegetation as possible. Women
often fished in ponds and streams, or raised small animals which grated on nearby bushes
and grass. They helped in house construction, made mats and baskets, medicines, fish
nets,: clothing, etc. from surrounding vegetation. In settled areas some women raised
vegetables and fruit around the house. The same pattern continues to hold true in some
form or another in many rural, non-industrialised areas of the world.
Basio regional patterns of family economic practices have merged among farming
and herding families in Asia, Africa and Latin Amerioa. these patterns help determine
women's active or passive roles in use and management of natural resources and give
clues 1.tobbolt-hatSpects of potential projects may interest rural women and what
part 1 ... -
In Asia, family units of men and women frequently farm together, each person per-
forming essential, sex-typed, complementary farming tasks. Both Asian men and women
are knowledgeable and concerned about availability of soil and water for subsistence
agriculture and women often have the added job of collecting fuel and fodder. In many
Asian areas women transport and/or transform forest products to support their families.
In contrast to Asia, pre-colonial African men were involved in hunting and in
warring while women performed the greater proportion of subsistence agriculture. Current
studies of African agricultural labour patterns show women farmers raise the vegetables
and other crops for household use while men farmers are involved mainly in grain and
produce for sale. A large number of items essential to the household and for informal
market trade are collected daily by African women from trees and other plants growing
wild in bush, fallow or forest lands.
In Latin America the women of many indigenous groups have long practised subsistence
farming. As men have found increasing economic opportunities on large plantations as
part of the rural migrating labour foroe, women have become even more firmly in charge
of raising family food on family land and in marketing locally consumed products. Some
activities relating to soil conservation, watershed management and increased local
forestry resources in Latin America have, therefore, found more receptivity and interest
among women than among men.
Even where sooio-religious custom prohibits wives from leaving the compound, many
instruct their children to select leaves, fibres and berries from the surrounding areas.
The women use or process these items within the household, then consign surplus products,
plus fruit grown in the courtyards, to the children to sell in the market. Secluded
wives are often in charge of sorting the seed to store from the grain and nuts to be
consumed, thereby further affecting future crops and land-use patterns.
It is not only settled farming communities in which women have a major responsi-
bility for supplying basic family needs from resources at hand. Women of nomadic
herding families spend many hours a day collecting and preparing leaves, bark, seeds,
roots, fruits, grains, fuelwood, and other items found growing wild in the semi-desert.
Throughout the world, as local resource availability declines, growing numbers of
men are leaving home to find other gainful employment. Approximately one third of all
households are now headed by women and the percentage is increasing. Even in areas
where rural women have traditionally shared work and resource management with their
husbands, many are now taking on these responsibilities alone.
WOMZI AND CHANGING RESOURCE AVAILABILITY
A closer look at a few selected specific examples of women's activities in
differing ecologic zones demonstrates the variety of both direct and indirect relation-
ships women have with trees and how these are changing.
Women of Farming and Herding Families
Women of a small West African village located in the humid tropics of Sierra Leone
in agricultural season are busy from 4 &a.m to 11 p.m. They fish, carry wood and water,
garden, and work in rice fields. They also collect raw materials and process over-
thirty products from the natural vegetation which surrounds their village. Women can
give .local names for useful plants, explain how they grow, identify which ones live in
the fallow, forest, upland or stream areas, and which ones are becoming scarce. These
Sierra Leonean women blame increased land pressure for diminishing forests, which in turn
causes increasing problems of silting fish ponds, nuddier stream water and difficulties
finding certain preferred fuel species and tertiary forest products. Most important of
all, the soil fertility in gardens and fields is declining due to shortened field fallow
and increased erosion. These changes mean that women spend more.time fishing, locating
and carrying water, gathering forest products and raising larger though less productive
garden and field plots. They report working longer to fulfil their normal tasks but
ewina 8 2SSB"SSaB less time to grow or process surplus items for sale. -
Women in the arid tropics of a peanut raising region of Senegal have somewhat
different activities in their 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. work day, but they face the same kind of
pressures. These women obtain water from a well, not a stream, and walk further to find
fuel and forest products in the more barren landscape. Ihey raise a few condiments and,
depending upon the season, work with their families in the millet and sometimes the peanut
fields. Senegalese women of one village report changes in the environment cause alarm
about lowering water tables. They must walk further to a deeper well during the dry
season and they worry about the future water supply. Currently, most available land is
intensively cropped so that very few products, including fuel, are growing wild in
natural vegetation surrounding their village. Dang from the occasional animals owned
by local farmers is now being used for cooking instead of fertilizer and more of the
meals are eaten uncooked due to lack of fuel. The serious wind and sheet erosion with
accompanying decline in soil fertility and in application of manure is causing a
reduction in the total family producnoe. Ihese women in both Sierra Leone and Senegal
need and want soil and water conservation and more effective agroforestry production
information and inputs. The specific species to plant and the design of the project,
etc. would, of course, differ.
In other areas, problems vary. Kany women in the mountains of Yemen, Nepal,
Haiti and India complain that their mountainside farms can no longer support their
families. When men leave in search of outside employment the women who remain often
find themselves unable to maintain the farming terraces. When the terraces break, the
soil is lost. As more trees and bushes are cleared to establish new fields or for
timber, fuel, fodder, etc., mud and rock slides and floods threaten their homes and
lives. A report from India describes girls committing suicide because they are unable
to collect and produce from the increasingly barren surroundings resources expected of
Women who raise small animals in Upper Volta and Mali are losing this source of
food and income due to disappearance of available forage plants and trees near enough to
their farm homes. Nomadic women report they are finding it impossible to collect
adequate quantities of formerly available essential vegetation and tree products. A
whole new market has opened in Niger where nomadic and other women go to buy items they
used to collect freely in the nearby bushland.
Unfortunately, most of these activities of women are little seen or weighed when
development projects are designed. Project designers and evaluators who are generally
men, compound this problem when they speak only to men. As seen above and illustrated
in Chart I, local men may have very different interaction with their environment than
their wives. While women may wish to have an area close to their households to provide
a mix of fodder, fuelwood, food, craft and medical supplies, men may opt to use the land
for a cash crop. When land resources are scarce, a plan to manage them to maximize
production of one product will automatically reduce production of other products. There-
fore, when projects neglect to specifically identify and address women's needs, the
activity may perforce worsen the situation for women and those aspects of the family for
which they provide.
Project economists seldom include the value of products women collect from their
environments in economic assessments of potential projects. Yet development activities
themselves often bring increasing economic hardships to rural women. Some efforts to
preserve the environment or to develop plantations for fuel or timber have cut off access
to areas which look to outsiders like 'useless brush', but which local women have been
using for collecting forest products or for grazing their small animals. A project in
Borneo introducing chain saws which only men could handle excluded women from woodoutting
which.formerly men and women had done together. Some projects, such as fuelwood planta-
tions, when successful undercut the income from women who formerly gathered and sold
wood. Altering resource use or availability can change economic activities for women of
farming and herding groups as well as those involved in gathering, processing and selling
forest products. When a project undercuts women's current economic activities, especially
in areas where there is no available alternative employment, project designers must
introduce provision for other sources of income*
Many women, especially in Asia, depend on collecting, transporting, processing
and/or marketing forest products as their major or only source of income. Often they
are women of the landless class and the forests are their only available resource. In
many countries women and girls with piles of fuelwood on their heads or backs line the
paths from hillsides to town. These women are concerned that the dead trees they may
harvest for fuel are increasingly difficult to find and their journey becomes longer and
longer. Indian women report earning less money while working so many hours they have
little remaining time for other activities. Their daughters join the daily trek when
they are big enough to carry wood. There is no hope these girls will go to school.
The distant wild areas where they now find wood are physically dangerous, and the forest
service has established new restrictions bringing them into increasing conflict with
foresters and with the law. Under some regulations these people are considered thieves.
Other women are involved in related activities such as producing beedi. Beedi is
an inexpensive cigarette substitute made of tendu leaves. The industry is controlled
by contractors who hire women to collect leaves which are then given for processing
mainly to women, children and the elderly. Again, income for all but the contractors
SUMMARY OF CITED EXAMP1
S OF WOMEN'S INTERESTS IN RESOURCES WITH SIMILAR AND
CONTRASTING INTERESTS OF MEN
Primary Daily fuelwood collection near the house- Interest in building poles and timber
Tree Products hold. Concern over availability of preferred trees as cash crop as well as local
species. Interest in access to building use. Interest in fuelwood mainly as
poles for local use. cash crop.
secondary Major involvement in collecting human food Herders apt to be involved with large
tree Products and having available fodder for small ani- animal grazing but not limited to areas
mals near home site. In certain areas near the home site. Little interest in
where cattle are kept at the household, collecting wild food products from
women are in charge of gathering fodder, natural vegetation.
erciary Collect numerous products needed in the Some men make medicines especially
tree Products household and for barter or sale. Women's herders for their animals. Men may
employment or extra cash income may depend use tertiary products but they often
on access to tertiary products as raw use fewer and quite different ones than
materials, those used by women of their own
Soil Use limited to areas near household. More choice of area for farming as men
Special interest in soil quality in are more mobile and may have access to
gardens and in fields with subsistence fertilizer. Interest generally focuses
crops. on best soils used for cash crops.
dater Generally responsible for locating and Herders generally take animals to water
transporting household water. Often also source so may be more concerned with
responsible for water delivery for intro- water lifting than delivery or source
duced projects (i.e., poultry, watering availability close to home. Concern
newly planted tress). General concern also over percolation of water into
over percolation of water into garden soils of fields.
and field-crop soils.
is extremely low even for those working twelve hour days. Reported cases of women
attempting to raise their income by collecting and processing the leaves outside the
control of the contractor have resulted in bloody conflict with these businessmen.
In other areas women form the largest part of the work force in forest industries
based on rattan, cane, bamboo, mushrooms, roots, fruits, nuts, honey, oil seeds, tea,
medical ingredients, handcrafted paper, plywood finishing, silkworm raising match making,
eto. People in these activities, which run the gamut from small household industry to
village level factories, are faced with increasing soaroity of basio forestry resources
on the one hand, and increasing competition from industry in the modernizing market on
the other. An Asian conference on forest industries concluded that women could be
greatly helped by projects which increased availability of forest resources needed for
such industries, by skills training, by availability of marketing information, by access
to credit, by strengthening women's organizations, and by more supportive forestry
legislation tailored to the specific situations. The forest service could take a much
more active and positive role in helping women involved in forest industries.
Effects of Scarcity
In reamining household and economic activities that rural women perform, it is
obvious that women throughout the world rely heavily on forestry products and tree
related resources for the well-being of themselves and their families. They are all
making changes in their life styles when resources become progressively scarce. Often
the pattern involves a series of changes and the severity of scarcity can be evaluated
by observing what changes have taken place.
First, women spend more time and energy walking further to collect, harvest,
plant, etc. or in cultivating larger areas because of poorer soil.
Second, when time and energy constraints become too great, many women report
asking daughters and other family members for added help. Some reports
describe daughters being taken from schools or of family size increasing
when more children are needed.
third, life styles or basic resource use begins to change substitute foods
appear and others are seen less often, formerly cooked foods are eaten raw or
fewer meals are served. Dung may be substituted for fuelwood instead of being
applied as manure. Small animals no longer have forage within aooess of the
village and women give up raising ruminants. Women have less money as they
have fewer resources and less time for producing surplus items for sale or
trade. Kany family members search for off-season employment.
FbPu, hen o resources are very scarce, basic items are purchased and the
e possibility to earn money selling surpluses. In some
societies the men leave home even during farming season in search of work and
the women continue to provide what they can but farms produce less due to
Rural women clearly recognize the problems related to diminishing numbers of trees.
Add on programmes to train them about the importance of trees often miss this point.
Women may instead need information on alternative and more productive ways to use their
limited resources which assure an adequate life style for their families while preserving
the environment for the future. any women can identify activities in which they would
be interested in collaborating or are open to ideas that are within their capabilities.
Chart I summarizes women's and men's interests in resources, both of which are important
to consider. Chart II lists various types of projects in which women have participated.
CHART II SPECIFIC EXAMPLES OP ACTIVITIES INVOLVING WOMIE IN FORESTRY PROJECTS
Tree Production for Home
Use or Industry
Combined tree planting
seedlings for sale
Soil, Water and Forest
Other Related Activities
Ghana women planted vegetables between newly planted rows of trees (taungya)
Senegal in integrated village directed project, men dug holes, women planted and watered, both
men and women maintained
SCameroon women helped foresters fenoe and plant village woodlots
SLesotho women planted woodlots for own use (group activity)
1 Guinea individual women planted forage trees around their houses (individual activity)
Korea Mothers' Clubs raised organizational funds by growing and selling tree seedlings
Philippines woman urged to join on equal basis with men to raise fast growing trees as
orop with market guaranteed by an industry
Ouinea women hose to plant nurseries and woodlots on communal basis as already overworked and
wanted men's help and support
Senegal women (both singly and in groups) raised seedlings to sell to forestry projects
India women formed committees to work with forestry department to protect areas of forest lands
in exchange for aooess to specified share of forest products
Cape Verde women built dykes, dams, eto. in national soil conservation effort (paid labour)
Honduras women worked flexible hours to repair land areas damaged by hurricane and to upgrade
and restore farmland (paid labour)
China women planted shelterbelt to protect gardens from sandstorms (voluntary group activity)
El Salvador women's group selected soil conservation and reforestation activities to improve
their village (voluntary)
Nepal women voluntarily joined to limit fodder and fuel collection in overused hillsides and
established group rotation for collecting when available areas are too distant
India women helped change forestry licenoing regulations by protecting overoctting by
contractors in the face of floods and landslides on the mountainsides. They joined with local
village men to protect selected areas and plant trees. Urban young women and men helped
villagers revegetate their surrounding mountainsides during summer camps.
Kenya a national women's organization originated a greenbelt programme to plant trees around
the capital oity and in.some villages in a conservation effort.
Sahel-wide programme looked into sooio-economio issues influencing stove design for and with women
Honduras stoves tied to loans with low interest for entire kitchen remodelling
Nepal women trained to instaaL stoves* Stoves appeared successful in some women-managed inns
and tea shops.
Niger women involved in adapting new stove designs
Kenya beekeeping project
Nepal silkworm raising and paper production
Thailand variety of forest products produced by organized women's group
India women processed matches at home. Groups organized basket-making
Also many activities listed above which combined production or management activities with income
, ,, ,I
II. WOXNR'S PARTICIPATION
Though women in rural areas are directly dependent on forestry related resources
many forestry projects are designed without a mention of women and without any recogni-
tion of the impact the proposed activity will have on them. Other projects have an
add on component involving women which may or may not be successful or address locally
perceived priority needs. A few projects have activities, such as sewing for women,
completely unrelated to the resource question addressed by the project (although viable
alternative income generating can be quite valid when projects either temporarily or
permanently reduce income from previous sources).
Project managers report that including women in a positive activity directly related
to resource management is not always easy given the traditional roles of women and the
traditional focus of development related institutions. But since women are so essential
for project socess, one needs to examine what participation means for them and what
economic, socio-oultural, political and historio/geographio factors prescribe women's
potential participation. One must also consider how to develop the services which can
effectively reach women.and the structures which allow women to benefit from participation.
WHAT IS PARTICIPATION FOR WOMEN ?
When project descriptions include statements about women's participation, it is often
difficult to know exactly what is meant. Participation in projects can take various
forms. When colonial administrators requested local leaders to provide a certain number
of persons to plant or care for trees, women were often among those to participate. Who
participated was decided by the village leaders. What they did was simply to participate
in implementation, not in problem identification, project design, ongoing monitoring, or
in benefit choice and potential distribution. How they participated was in groups,
intermittently and by force.
All participation has at least these three dimensions who, what, how. But not
all types of projects, not all social, economic, and political situations, will call for
the same mix. Various options of women's participation and their interrelationships
must be carefully measured, planned, and understood in the local context for effective
In all projects we are considering, women are involved at some level women of
farmer, herder, or landless families, women leaders, single heads of households, or
woman professionals. Will one group of women be more advantaged by the project than
another ? Will the women perform certain tasks and the men perform other tasks; will
women work as a separate group ? These decisions will depend upon local needs and
Generally speaking, it has proved difficult to attract funds for activities designed
specifically for women. However, studies show that when planners do not distinguish
women's separate needs and roles in the project design, women are apt to either not
benefit or to be actually disadvantaged. The ideal in many cases is to have village or
family efforts but with the needs and activities of all members (men, women and youths)
distinguished and considered. Women, in this case, must be involved in the planning so
as to express their own situations.
There are circumstances in which activities might be best designed for participation
of women only. These have been identified as follows:
"(a) when local cultural values strongly resist the association in public of
unrelated males and females;
(b) when girls and women need special programmes to overcome past discrimination
and help them catch up with men, e.g., in training for skills and professions
previously closed to them;
(o) when women represent a high percentage of de facto heads of households because
of high rates of marital instability, widowhood, or male emigration;
(d) when women, in the prevailing sexual division of labour, specialize in certain
tasks, such as food production, small animal-raising or vegetable marketing,
that could benefit from assistance aimed at increasing their productivity and
the returns of their labour;
(e) when men are otherwise likely to receive the returns of women's labour, for
example, by selling the goods that women produce or by-boooming, as household
heads, the formal members of cooperatives based on women's work;
(f) when women want their own activities, such as revolving credit clubs or
marketing associations, in order to achieve a measure of self-reliance or to
avoid conflict or competition with men." "J
Where women are already burdened with work, the community may be better served if
the activity is carried out by the men who have more time. In Niger several communities
opted for the men to raise woodlots with the fuel going for family cooking needs. In
yet other cases women may want integrated activities. In Guinea women suggested a
woman's woodlot would be difficult to plant as men would be angry if their wives were
preoccupied with a project or if the dinner was delayed. The men would, they reasoned,
appreciate their input better if the woodlot were a communal project with everyone
Project design must also clarify who else will participate. In various countries
forestry, agriculture, cooperatives, community development, livestock energy, water
resources, women's affairs etc. may be the sole or one of several governmental depart-
ments involved. Parastatal groups or non-governmental agencies may provide project
support as may a variety of donors.
What participation is required differs at each stage of a project and with the
activity itself. Women can participate mainly in problem identification when they do
not have time or resources to participate in the implementation. Formally or informally
women evaluate new efforts against traditional benefits and shortfalls. Their roles in
implementation may range from total responsibility to indirectly supportive activities
such as cooking meals for working men.
There are many discussions about the value of projects done by and with women,
compared to those done for women. There are certainly valuable activities done by
government agencies for their populations. However, special care should always be taken
to be sure that the projects designed to benefit women produce results valued more by the
women than the benefits that will be foregone. This is a point of special significance
in agriculture and forestry activities, given the extensive reliance of women on the
natural growth which is frequently cleared or restricted in either conservation or
increased production activities. Also, programmers should never expect women or men to
voluntarily participate in implementing an activity if they have had no part in selecting
the benefits and in establishing a benefit distribution format which they judge equitable.
he how dimension of participation is much more qualitative than the other two. It
includes the following aspects: basis, form, extent, and effect. Basis is related to
interest in the activity benefits alone versus interest in other incentives. This is the
I/ W.F.P. 'The Contribution of the World Food Programme to the United Nations
Decade for Women." Paper presented by the United Nations/F0 World Food Programme
to the World Conference of the UN Decade for Women, Copenhagen, Denmark, July 1980,
element which must be understood when discussing food for work or other pay as well as
the expectation of maintenance or continuation and spread of an activity. The basis
upon which women will participate will depend upon custom, perceived gain from the project,
and the economic risk and options. Form involves the manner such as individual versus
community or group participation in direct or in indirect ways. Form will depend upon
the type of problem being solved, the type of project, customary work patterns, and local
organizational leadership and structure. Extent relates to the time involved and the
range of activities performed. Effects of a project can range from physical produce
received to empowerment, or valued interactions. 1/
When project planners and the local women are aware of the variations possible in
the who, what and how of participation, they can much better select activities which
relate to the individual circumstances and aspirations of any potentially participating
group or individual.
FACTORS IN FUJNCING PARTICIPATION
The economic environment of a project includes access to and control over goods
and resources at both national and local levels. Resources which were traditionally
available for women are changing as are the related economic activities they can maintain.
Roles. Ethnic or.religious groups may specify certain economic roles for women.
In many countries, for example, only women can place seed in the ground if the crop is
expected to be fertile. This practice must be considered when planting information is
given or the project includes a planting activity. Some women handle money, others do
not. In areas where women never openly handle money, they may prefer personal or group
chosen goods as a benefit instead of cash. Where women do not have access to land they
may be interested in forest industry or taungya projects in which the landless have
access to controlled use of government lands.
Land. Projects which change access to resources may cause women to lose traditions
which protected their use of land. When land becomes privatized without an understanding
of economic roles within families, absolute titles may be given only to male heads of
households. In areas where this title replaces traditional use rights, all women may be
comparatively disadvantaged but women who head households will be doubly so.
Time. Where women already work from very early to very late they may have no
extra time to participate in new project activities. In this case time saving techno-
logies must be introduced before women's participation can be expected. Also, timing
related to both seasonal and daily demands on women's labour will impact on women's parti-
cipation. If a new or enlarged tree crop requires planting, weeding, harvesting or pro-
cessing by women at a time they are already fully employed in subsistence agriculture,
the project will probably fail. In Sierra Leone a tree crop planned and planted by the
men produced a fruit women traditionally processed. Because the women were fully
occupied in that season much of the fruit spoiled. Women who work at other tasks during
the day and therefore cook at night will probably not adopt new cookstoves which enclose
the light, especially if other lighting is not available.
Limitations. Economic limitations are area specific, and it is important to
identify these at a project identification stage to assure that the intended beneficiaries
will in fact be able to receive positive impacts from the activities. Sometimes the
economic constraints indirectly limit access though, in principle, the project is open to
all. When projects require certain inputs of land area, investment, risk, time, or
1/ Uphoff, Norman. "Farmer's Participation in Project Formulation, Design and
Operation". Proceedings in the Second Annual Agricultural Sector Symposia,
5-9 January 1981, Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1981.
- 10 -
mobility, the largest percentage of local womed may be effectively excluded. In a
cattle fattening project in Niger women did not participate until an insurance programme
was begun and women could then afford the risk of an animal dying. If the potential
constraints to women's participation are economic, then project redesign, careful
addition of credit, risk insurance and/or organization to spread risk or share resources
may be considered.
Project planners, along with local women, must also consider social issues. Such
issues include women's relation to local organizations, the function of local groups and
leaders, and the level of social welfare services.
Organization. Do the women work alone, in family groups or participate in local
organizations ? Could the priorities of a local organization include tree planting or
other forestry related activities ? Should women be encouraged to organize to overcome
some restriction to participation ? In Sri Lanka, women were not allowed to work away
from home. They joined together, demanded specific social and work behaviour from their
own members and safer working conditions from employers. When their families saw it
was safe to allow them to work in neighboring communities these women were allowed new
mobility. In Ghana, Korea, Senegal and India women's organizations are active in
organizing forest industries and/or tree planting for production or conservation.
Leadership. Could the women with the identified tree-related needs participate
in active decision-making roles if local organizations were used ? Leadership related
issues are a major determinant, as mentioned before, of the desirability of organizing
women-only or integrated activities. Are local leaders supportive of women's partici-
Social welfare. Does the level of social welfare in the area indicate that
school, water, health, or other needs are much higher priorities to women than trees ?
Could trees be usefully associated with projects of high priority (i.e., trees to protect
water sources, tree species used which are desired for traditional medicine, trees
selected which offer nutritious food, nurseries placed so improved water systems not only
benefit seedlings but allow convenient access for schools or households) ?
Taboos. Communities prescribe not only specific social roles and activities but
taboos for women. In Senegal women who are successful in raising fruit trees are warned
they may not have many children. But this taboo is losing its power and women are
increasingly involved in fruit tree planting. Some traditions call for simple modifica-
tions to project formats. In Kenya a bee-raising project was not available for women
because hives were in trees and it was taboo for women to climb. When the hives were
lowered women gladly participated. Other traditions, which may have been functional at
some earlier time, are now major stumbling blocks which women wish to change.
Limitations. If literacy is required in order to take training, or if membership
in an all male cooperative is a prerequisite to obtaining loans or inputs, women may be
automatically excluded. Remedial actions for educating young women and redefinition of
minimum requirements may both be needed. If the constraints to women's participation or
their benefiting from a project are social, redesigning the activity to eliminate the
objectionable factor, obtaining support of leaders for the change, or organizing women to
overcome these constraints are all possible. It is important to note, however, that many
supposed problems must be verified with the women themselves. Sometimes verbalized
constraints are reflections of the "ideal" practice in the community and have less reality,
especially for the poorer women who have always put survival of the family above most
- 11 -
Aooess to governmental services and facilities, available infrastructure, as well
as restricting and supportive laws and regulations are necessary considerations in all
project designs. Women are almost always more disadvantaged in this political environ-
ment than are men. Women's and family subsistence activities are apt to have less
agency interest and commitment than the more lucrative plantation production schemes.
Women may need project help to obtain or to learn how to obtain governmental services
and how to get their views before ruling bodies.
Local Control. Women's sphere of influence and informed participation in tradi-
tional societies is apt to be relatively strong at the household level and grow
progressively weaker as one goes toward centralized government. Therefore, the more
decentralized (local) the planning and activity management, the more easily women can
participate meaningfully in project direction and in receiving benefits they value.
But even at the village level women.may need support when they first become
involved. In Nepal one project design required that a woman be a member of each village
level conservation committee. Observers and committee members reported that in some
cases the committee gained helpful insights from these women but felt that having two
women would make it easier for them to overcome "their shyness to speak in a gathering
of all male leaders." The women also needed information on what types of options the
committee had so they could participate in an informed manner and on an equal basis with
the men who had long been involved in village and district level resource management
Two-way Information Flow. Project activities controlled at the local level also
have the advantage of more easily establishing a two-way communication with women. When
project leaders and extension agents are or become well known in an area the women will
have a better chance to contribute their knowledge and identify what information they
would like to receive, as well as when and how. Closer communication can eliminate
projects which miss the questions relevant to a specific environment or bring information
in a form women cannot use (written information to illiterate women, outside men presen-
ting information where women are prohibited from communicating to strangers or discussions
being presented at an hour of the day when women are not free to attend, etc.).
Before establishing the information infrastructure in a project area it is impor-
tant to learn how information already flows in the community. Will traditional lines
of communication be helpful ? Can they be strengthened ? Do woman listen to radios,
exchange news at the well, go to meetings with demonstration agents, belong to clubs or
work groups where news is exchanged ?
One CARE/Sierra Leone programme identified secret societies as the organization
through which women learned health and other information. Leaders of these societies.
were offered training and supplied cassettes with health related stories recorded by
traditional local actors. The programme, which was very popular and effective,
expanded to include resource management information and other topics. Where there are
no traditional spokespersons and an identifiable flow of information, more skilled social
scientists and communicators will be needed and more time required to strengthen the two-
way flow of information with women.
Generally it is preferable to have women presenting information to women. A study
in Senegal showed that professional women extension agents could Iork with either men or
women but professional male extension agents were at a disadvantage in dealing with
women. An important consideration is always who can present and obtain information and -
deliver inputs to local women. In many countries there are no women in the governmental
line agencies which deal with resource projects; there are very few women foresters.
Where this is the case, quite obviously project long term training components should
include a special effort to train women professionals.
However, other short term remedial actions are also important. If there are women
working at the village level from other extension services, women's bureaus or voluntary
agencies, they might be given short term training in resource management options and be
- 12 -
asked to serve as liaisons for information. Sometimes men who cannot talk with young
women are free to discuss issues with older women of the community who can serve in an
intermediary role. Occasionally women teachers, wives of male teachers or wives of
village leaders who have more education or experience outside the village, can be given
extra training and asked to take on an information liaison position.
No matter who works as the liaison between the women and the governmental services
or the project, they will need to have an active role in bringing information back to
the project directors and they will need to have the required inputs and support to make
their task viable. Research facilities also have to become involved in focusing on
women's needs. Some research priorities frequently expressed by women are learning to
propagate locally desired plants and increasing the ratio of productive output for
labour and land so that families will be able to afford to reallocate sufficient
resources to women's forestry related activities.
Limitations. Other questions of limits on political power are present for women as
well. If they have a piece of land or an income generating activity which succeeds, will
it be taken over by the men ? If they have a nursery or garden will they be able to
protect it from the goats or cattle belonging to powerful local leaders ? Often women
find it necessary to organize into groups in order to obtain political support, protection
or needed project inputs or activities. Support to help women organize will often be
important to overall project success.
Interested institutions and donors often have very specific mandates to focus on
limited types of activities. One group may work with energy issues, another with water
or soil conservation, etc. It is often difficult to match local priorities with those
of the involved technical agencies and donors. Where more than one agency and/or donor
is concerned smooth collaboration may be difficult to engineer.
Concerned programmers can also design projects in a way to initiate constructive
political/legal change. In Nepal, a forester successfully insisted that a law be inter-
preted so local people would have the ownership of the project trees they planted. Once
a contract was signed to guarantee ownership, both the men and women planted trees. This
change would have been extremely difficult for the participants themselves to have
Historic and Geographic
Experience women have had with development efforts and the distance from the house-
hold of available resources and of potential activities will influence women's interest
in and ability to respond to new projects;
Historic Influences. Because of inexperience in public decision making or in
project management, women may start activities from a disadvantaged position compared to
men, even those of their own communities. They may need a special effort to provide
relevant information and organizational and management skills. Lack of success in other
projects or less than positive memories of contacts with foresters may delay the beginning
stages of projects. It may call for working with other field agents or involving NOOs
which are trusted by the people to overcome initial mistrust in areas where foresters
are viewed as repressive.
Spatial Influences. Women are apt to be much more limited than men by spatial
constraints. Not only will the area in which women can work while taking care of the
household chores be limited, but women's activities in relation to markets, or to going
away to take training is often culturally specified. One forester has successfully
identified probable priority areas for woodlot projects simply by making a map showing
the distances women of different localities have to walk to collect wood.
In some cases women's freedom of mobility relates to numbers as well. A programme
in which one woman was chosen from each of several communities to go to the regional
capital for training was failing, supposedly for lack of interest among the women. In
fact, it became apparent that the women were not free to leave singly. When the
programme was changed to allow several women together to come from a community, the
programme became very popular. In another activity women who usually remained close to
- 13 -
their village were elected to represent their communities in a meeting at a regional
centre. The women reported that their husbands could not refuse to let them go after
the community (men and women) had, in fact, sanctioned the trip.
Generally, the constraints woman have are similar to those felt by other disadvan-
taged groups. There are, however, nuances between poor men's and women's constraints.
Although these are very locale specific, some illustrative examples from the areas
already cited may help identify types of gender related differences.
EXAMPLES OF CONSTRAINTS AS SEE IN CITED ARELS
Poor Rural Men
Land Access Women have generally had less
access to permanent rights over land. In
areas where a family works together, if the
man dies or leaves the women may have to
return to a male member of her family. In
areas where women have farmed separately
and had some customary use-right protection,
land reform giving titles to men may
endanger women's use-rights. Technologies
to increase efficiency in use of land are
almost never given to women and generally
serve to enlarge areas cultivated by men
making land less available for women.
land use Subsistence uses of natural
vegetation, gardening, and often subsis-
Time Rural women are usually very busy
and as resources become more stressed their
time becomes more limited. This may not be
true of women of the landless class if
natural resources are not available to them.
Women's available time is often in short
periods between household chores. Although
rural women may be underproduotive they are
seldom idle and during some seasons they
are extremely busy.
Money When resources become more stressed
women in Africa often lose their ability to
earn money through surplus production. In
Asia, women usually handle family money
unless the husband takes a second wife or
migrates. In Latin America shortened
supplies and lack of money often force the
woman to seasonal work in urban areas. In
all cases even when loans may be available
to women, they seldom have the collateral
to qualify and due to responsibility for
subsistence demands for the family, women
can seldom invest money or time on long-
Land Access Land access may also be
difficult to obtain but land reform may be
advantageous. Where technology is intro-
duced to the wealthy, poor men may also be
forced off the land as tenant farming loses
its advantage to those with both land and
land use In most countries men do not
collect and gather produce and may not be
as keenly aware of the need for natural
vegetation as women. More focus on cash
than on subsistence land uses.
Time Men are more apt to be seasonally
unemployed in rural areas than are women.
Although they may have strenuous tasks
during certain seasons, they generally
have more leisure than women.
Money Studies show that when wages or
sales money goes to men.it is less apt to
raise the living standard of the family
than if the money goes to the women. Men
enter the cash economy earlier than women
in many areas. When resources are in
short supply men are apt to leave the land
first, forcing women to do subsistence
farming alone. Projects making money
available to the poor are more apt to reach
poor men than poor women.
Poor Rural Men
Activities Women are expected to do what
is necessary to provide for their families
including both household and production
tasks. Many taboos are specific to
women's use of technology or are restrio-
ting in relation to participation in the
public or modern sphere.
Leadership Little access to leadership'
roles although women married to leaders
may have informal access to power.
Organization Poor rural women often have
informal support systems with other women
but their first commitment is to the family
above organizational activity. When orga-
nizational skills or supports are intro-
duced by projects, women may be excluded
(such as producer co-ops) or if men and
women are members, women may need help to
play an active role.
Welfare Services and Priority Needs -
Generally women place high priority on
health, education, clean water, for the
family. They may stress household fuel if
this is a problem. After these needs are
met they may search for increased income.
When they get money it generally goes to
improve living standards of the family.
Activities Men have specific tasks they
are expected to perform for the family,
but usually this includes little if any
household tasks. Once an activity tradi-
tionally done by the women proves to be
lucrative, men rather easily enter that
Leadership Access to leadership for poor
men may be quite limited.
Organization Poor men have more access
to participation in organizations,albeit
perhaps marginally, than do women. When
there are projects to establish producer
cooperatives, etc., poor men at the pro-
ducer level are more apt to be included
than are producer level women. Often
membership is limited to "heads of house-
holds" which seldom includes women even
when the men have migrated or are economi-
cally not active.
Welfare Services and Priority Needs Men
in many project areas stress more concern
about cash income activities than they do
for increased social welfare services.
Access to Technology and Information -
Little access to technology and informa-
tion and an acceptance of the myth that
these are only for men. Projects tend to
increase this inequality. Fewer women
than men are literate.
Access to Inputs Most projects inadver-
tently restrict women's access to produc-
tion supplies such as fertilizer, to credit
and to participating in the information
flow, making these available through male
extension agents to male residents.
Access to Technology and Information -
Although poor men have little access to
technology and information, new projects
are not designed in such a way that they
Access to Inputs Poor men are often
restricted from participating due to lack
of resources but may face less resistance
to receiving inputs when they can get
together the basic resources needed.
Past Experience Women have had less
contact with activities outside the house-
hold and their past relations with
foresters is apt to have been less than
Past Experience Poor men may also have
had little experience dealing with outside
structures and negative experiences with
government officials and foresters.
- 14 -
- 15 -
Rural Women Poor Rural Men
Movement Most societies restrict women's Movement Other than the economics of
movement although this is less true in mobility men seldom face geographic ree-
African herding groups and in Latin America. triotions. They often move without taking
Even when women travel they are often other members of the family. When
restricted by the need to go in groups and resources are limited men are more apt to
by aooompanying children, leave the family either seasonally or
III. PROJECT CYCLE
Information about women and foresters in local resource management is uneven. On
the one hand, we do know the following: that women are actively using resources and
making conservation decisions; that women often have need for different resources than
men; .and, that women are knowledgeable about resource availability and environmental
changes. We also know that, although some ideas for projects appeal to women, their
participation is often limited by serious constraints, primarily those of time, control
over land use and other resources, and access to technical information and highly
productive technologies. Further, we know that when sexually differentiated needs and
constraints are identified and addressed early in the project planning phase, activity
results have a better chance of success.
Local forestry and agricultural agents have essential skills and knowledge, and
they too are concerned about local resources. Many governmental agencies are focused,
however, on the more lucrative production activities than village or family level
resource problems. Agencies have generally not focused on using forestry as a tool
for local development. To succeed with this new optic they will need supportive
national governmental and forest service policies, a new type of forestry research, and
new communications resources and skills.
If agencies wish to effectively involve women in project activities they will need
new information coming from local women. There are several questions, approaches and
tools which can be helpful in more accurately identifying women-related resource problems
and in designing and implementing activities.
PROBLEM AND PROJECT IDEITIFICATION
Projects are activities designed to solve a problem. Although project cycles
are usually described as beginning with project identification, frequently they are
based on solving poorly defined or selected problems. In order to actively benefit
women, it is essential to examine their specific interests and needs while the problem
is being articulated. Several questions may be useful at this stage.
What is the resource related problem (or the potential improvement) as seen by
women ? Carefully distinguish and consider both symptoms and causes.
Deforestation may be a symptom but the cause may involve agricultural, grazing
or harvesting-pressures. Do women see trees as being helpful,'dangerous,
necessary or a nuisance ? Do they see the need for increased supplies of certain
tree products ? Who is or could be using or profiting from a more plentiful
supply of products ? Do local women perceive change (more demand, less supply,
diminishing or growing value of resource-related prodnots) ? If a problem has
been identified by the government is it seen by women residents as a personal,
community or governmental problem or as no problem at all ? From the answers to
this line of questioning, one is not able to know if women will participate, but
can identify in which potential activities motivation will be a serious issue
and/or in which activities women are likely to be interested.
- 16 -
To whom is there a resource problem ? If woman have expressed a concern, which
women are they ? (Wives of herding, agricultural, urban, landless, and other
socio-economic groups ay have different and even conflicting interests.) Identify
any person(s) or groups) (middlemen, etc.) who might be disadvantaged by a
potential change in the status quo and what impact this should have for project
design. How do husbands, local leaders, field level staff and governmental
agencies view the same problem and the alternative uses of resources ? Where
there is an overlap of interests between women, leaders, and all other potentially
affected by a project activity, the chances for success are greatly enhanced.
Success with even small activities of mutual interest can potentially lead to much
greater awareness of and interest in future activities.
Why is there a problem ? If a problem remains unsolved it is usually of relatively
lower priority to the involved persons or else there are constraints which cannot
be overcome through efforts of those affected. If the problem is a low priority
to women, programmers cannot expect much participation unless it can .be tied in
with the solution of a more urgent problem. If the problem identified by women
is of low priority to the government and implementing agencies outside support for
overcoming identified constraints is not likely to be forthcoming. Constraints
can range from lack of marketing facilities to restrictive government policies,
from lack of technical information or options to lack of adequate material resources.
Constraints which are identified early can often be overcome or minimized by care-
ful project design as long as there is the required institutional and local commit-
Can forestry or agroforestry skills or policies be useful to women in solving the
problem ? If the answer is yes, there remains the question for the project
identification phase to answer, how ?
Once the problems have been identified and one has been selected for a project
activity, technical and socio-economic factors influencing selections of options can be
examined. Answers to several specific questions about the economic, social and
political environment help indicate what type of project involvement women may be able
Economic questions include:
What do women stand to gain and lose from a potential activity ? How do they
see the cost ratio ? Could it be improved ?
Given the current economic structure, could women expect to receive the benefit
from their participation ? How could this be assured ?
Do women have either daily or seasonal time pressures which would limit their
What economic roles do women have that would be affected by a potential activity ?
If new skills are required how are they to be developed ? If new equipment is
needed is there a precedent for maintenance and upkeep of similar equipment or
how would this be organized ? Would new funds be required.? How would project
inputs be made available ?
Make a profile for minimum eoonomio-related resources a participant would need.
Do women have access to and control over goods and resources required for
successful participation (land, money, equipment, education, etc.) ? If not, how
could this problem be overcome ?
- 17 -
Sooio-cultural questions include:
How do women organize to work (singly, in groups of relatives, etc.) ? Would the
project require a different organizational pattern ? How would the needed
organizational skills be introduced ?
Are there existing organizations to which the women belong ? Would any of these
groups be involved ? If so, could the identified women expect to have a two-way
communication and take an active role ?
How does a potential resource activity relate to the basio needs of the community ?
Will this project help solve urgent social problems or divert scarce resources away
from them ?
Are there taboos or customs women will have to face to participating or to
obtaining equitable benefits from their inputs ? Can organization or redesign
mitigate this issue ?
Make a minimum sooio-oultural profile for participation. Would there appear to
be obstacles for women's participation ? .If so, how could they be overcome ?
Political infrastructure questions inoludet
Could resource management and control be localized where women can participate ?
What types of policies would be needed to make this possible ?
Do woman have access to the information needed to meaningfully participate in
planning and selecting options ? Given current information flow and information
infrastructure, what would it take to assure two-way ooommnioations for the
Are there government or local customary policies which would help assure women
participants control over benefits ? Are there policies which would limit this
Make a minimum profile for a participant to adequately obtain and manage needed
inputs and benefits ? Do women have this minimum political strength ? If not,
how could it be developed ?
Historically and Geographically related questions include:
Have women had positive and/or negative experiences with development project
activities or with one of the agencies which will potentially be involved ? How
can trust and good collaborative working operations be built and with what local
agents ? In relation to the new activity, would the agents need new training or
would completely new agents be needed to work with women and with the new
What added supports will women require to help them overcome inexperience or
weakness in available infrastructure (from the local level up through the needed
professional level women).
Are there any spatial constraints women will need to address -?
- 18 -
Because the interests of women and their constraints to participation are so
specific to the socio-economic and ecologic environment in which they live, it will be
difficult for a project designer to identify all the relevant issues. A more reason-
able approach is, therefore, to involve the women themselves in the project design
process so they will be able to add their own information from their own environment
A useful tool for this collaborative type of designing is a management plan invol-
ving participation of all the persons or agencies affected by the project. This design
method is also useful in assuring that all parties are aware of needed planning and
inputs during the total project cycle. The following is a format which can be modified
for various types of activities. It is designed to be used also as a collaborative
management agreement which would help assure women of needed economic, social and
political support. Although this type of agreement is useful for men as well as women,
it is especially important for women because it tends to make them visible and assure
their roles from planning through benefit distribution. Even if it is not used as a
signed agreement the various topics, when applicable, should be raised and thoroughly
discussed during the design phase.
Include all participating parties, not, for example, just family heads if women
and young people were expected to have input. It might include or limit the
possibility of adding others wishing to become participants later because they
see the potential benefits more clearly, because they have moved into the area,
or because they are young people of the village who have married and established
new households. It might establish criteria for participants so that there is a
clear understanding of responsibilities and a method of reclassifying those who
fail to continue fulfilling their responsibilities but provide some protection
or options for women whose husbands leave or do not participate.
Long and Immediate Term Goals
This would not stop, as many projects do, listing only outputs such as the number
of trees planted or even the number of trees living, but would consider the
desired impact. For instance, the goals could be to make the community, or a
defined group of women participants, self-sufficient in home cooking fuelwood in
X number of years by planting and maintaining X hectares of X (species) trees each
year for X years. This way if the goal of self-sufficiency for fuelwood appeared
to be in risk of failure because of increased requirements etc., steps could be
taken to increase the area planted or the species might be changed, etc. If, on
the other hand, the introduction of'modified cooking stoves reduced the demand
for fuel, and the goal could be more easily reached, then by common consent fruit
trees could be substituted, charcoal making could be introduced, extra wood could
be sold, or the proejot modified in other ways. If different groups or agencies
have different goals these must also be examined and some commonality established.
Description of Project
An elaboration of.the goals telling how they are to be reached, establishing a
A desoriptidn of the chosen site, how it is to be used, and any time or other
limitations. It is to be signed by anyone who is giving up rights to the land,
those responsible for distributing land, and those who will participate in its use.
If it is a building for a processing activity, conditions of its use should be
described where appropriate. This could assure women continued use of a site if
the activity proves to be lucrative.
- 19 -
Start-up and Maintenanoe
Describe needed inputs, identify who is responsible, and establish a time schedule.
When required inputs are too high for women this problem can be identified and
treated during the design phase. Maintenanoe is also an important issue. obr
example, repair of a water pump may be under the direction of the government water
service or a local repairman. If a working pump is necessary for nursery project
success, then the parties responsible for its upkeep and repair should be part of
the discussion of participant expectations and acknowledge their responsibility.
The same would be true of repair and replacement of processing machinery for a
village wood-based industry. Many women's projects are immobilized by unrepaired
This part of the plan might be written in a schedule format and oopied in a large
well displayed schedule to remind participants of steps to be followed. If res-
ponsibilities are by group, such as all male participants are to prepare the soil
in April, a representative of the male group could sign and be responsible for
reminding others when it is time to start. This could be signed by any party or
representatives of any agency or group expecting to contribute labour, money or
material inputs during the life of the project.
S Time Input Responsible Party
A. Range of potential benefits (considering possible risks).
B. Formula for benefit distribution including the time framework (who, when,
This might be signed by participants and othea responsible for the development of
the project and for benefit distribution. It will often be important that the
forestry service, chiefs, or others, sign, if participants fear they might want to
intervene or appropriate some of the benefits. This may strengthen particularly
women's confidence as well as their actual ability to retain ultimate control over
A. Identification of monitoring committee and being sure all involved groups,
including women, are represented.
B. Description of when monitoring is to be done.
C. Descriptions of how the report is to be made, and by and to whom.
D. formula for how the goals are judged to be reached, an assessment as to whether
all parties are up-to-date on their inputs, and an assessment as to whether
benefits are being distributed as planned.
E. Prescribed procedure to address complaints by participants or others, if the
committee feels the programme is missing its goals or if agencies or partici-
pants, etc. are not fulfilling their part of the contract.
Women's needs, interests, and constraints are often overlooked in resource manage-
ment programming, not intentionally, but because women's issues were not addressed by
the all male programme design team. In many areas of the world neither national nor
foreign male officials or development planners can come into rural areas and discuss
women's problems with local women. It is essential to include women on design teams to
take that role. When possible, projects should contain infrastructure building funds
for training national women foresters and for instructing women community development and
extension agents in elements of forestry activities. In countries where there are no
women experienced in planning local resource management projects, donors should be asked
to provide women foresters, agriculturalists and/or social scientists familiar with such
project planning. Donors and governmental services should keep lists of women who have
- 20 -
successfully contributed to team planning efforts. There are now enough women
experienced in such programmes that at least one should be included on each new design
A abort check-list of questions should be consulted during the design phase to
assure adequate attention was paid to women's issues during the previous phases and they
have been considered during the design.
Were local women actively consulted about their special activities in relation to
Did the identified problem rate as a priority issue to the women expected to
Was there an experienced person who worked with the women to help them verify the
technical and societal aspects of the identified problems) ?
Do the agencies that will be called upon to help identify local problem solving as
an important factor ? Are agency and local goals compatible ?
Were there professional women involved in problem identification ?
Were all data or relevant problems disaggregated by social group and further disag-
gregated by sex ? Were inputs equally available to women including both physical
resources and informational/educational opportunities ?
Were the following issues considered in developing options in relation to women's
labour potential benefits
land use potential benefits foregone
other inputs lag time before benefits
required maintenance risk
Was adequate information made available, through technical sheets, case studies,
etc. for women to have a variety of choices to consider ?
Was a women professional employed to work with the women at this stage ?
Were local women actively involved in the project design ?
Does the design format give the following information to the women and to the
other participants ?
who what how when
Do all the participants involved in "who", including the women, actively support the
the project as it was designed ?
Does design allow for oolleoting adequate baseline data ?
Does design indicate points at which outside expertise would be needed to help
women overcome identified constraints ?
Does the design allow for change as new information is discovered or as human or
natural environments change ?
- 21 -
Project activities which successfully involve women tend to be small, discreet
efforts building either upon skills and resources women already possess or on carefully
staged well defined inputs. The identified constraints, the effectiveness of staff and
required consultants and timely institutional support must be carefully monitored as
well as the concerns of local residents. The monitoring formula built into the
design will provide the framework. Any needed baseline data not available at the
design phase should be compiled as early as possible in the project.
Successful implementation depends on socially sensitive and technically informed
personnel who are aware of women's as well as men's issues. Because not all problems
can be identified before a project activity begins, and because conditions change,
flexibility with an eye on long-term goals should take priority over pre-established
targets. Even the goals may need to be reoriented. However, unless this flexibility
is built into the design, even the best intentioned implementation team may have diffi-
culty making mid-stream changes.
Certain questions on women's participation can be helpful in monitoring project
Are women actively participating in all aspects and at the level anticipated in
the design ? If not, in which activities ? Which women ? Why ? Can (should)
something be done to encourage participation ?
Are women with various interests having active input into project monitoring ?
Are the social economic, political and/or technical factors being addressed which
women originally identified as constraints to their participation and the success-
ful solving of natural resource problems ?
Is all information being kept in a usefully disaggregated form by sex and by other
pertinent factors ?
Are funds and inputs earmarked for women actually reaching women ? Are these new
resources being used as originally planned ?
Is new information reaching women ?
Are planned benefits reaching women on schedule ?
Do prescribed indicators show an overall improvement in women's situation equal or
better than predicted ? If there are shortfalls are they consistent throughout
the project or specific to certain groups ? Can the problem be identified ?
Are completed activities having the planned effect ? (e.g., are women who have
received training being placed in appropriate jobs ?)
Are there unpredioted impacts ? Are these good or bad according to the women
participants ? (According to others ?)
Do women see the originally identified problem as being solved ? Are they pleased
with their role and the impact of the project to date ?
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WOXEM IN RESOURCE MANAGPEC ET
Case Study Format
We are making an effort to learn more about women's participation in ongoing
resource management efforts. Please share any information you have keeping in mind the
answers in relation to both men and women. Feel free to use back of paper.
Tour relationship to projeott
(donor, manager, participant, etc.)
Location of projects
Type of projects
Related activities also introdnoeds
Date project started :
Expected termination of outside inputs:
Project goals (immediate and/or long term):
Give a short description of the projects
What agency(ies), ministries, and/or organizations are involved ?
Who financed the programme ?
What is the boost of the programme ?
What are the expected results ?
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Who originally identified a need for this project ?
How was this activity selected ?
Were local men and/or women involved
and managing the activity ?
in making the initial decisions or in organizing
Who are the intended beneficiaries ?
Did intended beneficiaries contribute labour, time, money ? If so, who, how many;
what was their contribution and what was their incentive ?
Is the activity organized on an individual, family, or community basis ? Or other ?
If the project is on the individual basis how were the individuals selected ? What is
their motivation for participating ?
If the project is organized by groups, was the group already formed ? What had been its
function before this activity ? What is its motivation for participating ?
If it was a group organized for this activity describe the organizing process. What
is the motivation of participating members ?
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As the project is now:
What are the goals of the donor ?
What are the goals of the lead agency or organization ?
Who controls (will control) benefit distribution ?
Who is responsible for upkeep, maintenance or other ongoing inputs ? Are they paid ?
By whom ? Describe. How were they selected ?
As the project is now working who is expected to benefit ? Local men ? Local women ?
Which group ? How ?
Who will be disadvantaged ? Local men ? Local women ? Which group ? How ?
Is there a planting or production element ? If yea How was the location selected ?
Who had used and/or controlled that land before ? What species were used ? How were
they selected ?
Is there an educational component ? Describe.
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Is there an organization strengthening component ? Describe.
Is there a new activity or change in an ongoing one introduced ? 'Describe.
What constraints, negative reactions, or conflicts have developed in relation to the
project, if any ?
What suggestions would you have for someone starting a similar project ?
In your opinion, how do local women feel about the project ? Local men ?
What do you feel are some of the most important factors which determine women's
participation in forestry activities ?
(Now, please go through all of your answers to be sure you have indicated where women
stand in relation to each.)