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Abstract

Most current community development projects have a built in gender component. Despite the WID, WED and GAD schools of thought there is still however a long way to go in order to effectively implement these principles in conservation projects. Merely getting women a place on the policy-making agenda is not enough, especially if it comes at the cost of promoting a simplistic and often wildly inaccurate picture of gender-environment relations. This article analyses the repercussions of community-based conservation on women in terms of use, access, and control of natural resources. The area chosen is the Sariska region of Rajasthan, India. The article analyses also the role of women inside the Gram Sabbha, which is the village institution used at community level for the management of natural resources. A distinction is made between the different groups of women. The issue of women’s empowerment and its importance in community-based conservation will also be discussed.

Note on the Author

Maria Costanza Torri over the last few years has gained experience in rural development policy and women studies, with a special emphasis on management of natural resources and biodiversity conservation. Following her studies in Economics at Ancona University (Italy), she completed two years of research at IAMM-CIHEAM in Montpellier (France). Subsequently, she completed a DEA (Diploma of Specialised Studies) in Rural Sociology at Paris1-Pantheon-Sorbonne and a PhD in this scientific area, while working in the above mentioned University as a research Fellow. She is currently associated with the Human Rights Research Centre at the University of Ottawa, Canada and she is a Research Fellow at the Department of Geography (University of Montreal), Canada where she is leading several research projects dealing with the women and environment conservation in several countries.

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