Participatory Research and Development for Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management: A Sourcebook - Vol. 1

By Julian Gonsalves; Thomas Becker et al. | Go to book overview

6
Participatory Research and
Development in Natural Resource
Management: Towards Social and
Gender Equity

The management of agriculture and natural resources involves interactive roles of diverse social actors. These actors usually include a diversity of stakeholders including small and large farmers, business entrepreneurs, local government authorities, resource-based user groups, community-based organizations and others. Different individuals and groups of individuals are bringing different perspectives, experiences, knowledge and interests to the management of resources, and to any associated research and development initiatives. They have different and often changing access to and control over, decision-making, and specific knowledge about natural resource management processes. These stakeholders are not homogenous or fixed groups, but differentiated by social categories of gender, class, caste, ethnicity and age.

Gender is a culturally-specific set of characteristics
that identifies the social behavior for women and
men and the relationship between them. Gender
refers to social differences, as opposed to biological
ones, between women and men that have been
learned, are changeable over time, and vary
widely both within and between cultures.

Gender Analysis is the systematic examination of
the roles, relationships and processes between
women and men in all societies, focusing on
imbalances in (decision-making) power, wealth
and workload. Gender analysis can also include
the examination of the multiple ways in which
women and men, as social actors, engage in
strategies to transform existing roles, relationships
and processes in their own interest and in the
interest of others. Gender analysis is cross-cut by
other axes of social differentiation, including class,
caste, ethnicity and age.

(Adapted from European Commission in Adamo
and Horvorka, 1998)

-51-

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