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South Asia Without Borders Seminar

Bina Agarwal, Professor of Development Economics and Environment, University of Manchester
Chair: Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Harvard Kennedy School


Can the gender composition of groups managing local forests affect conservation outcomes? This simple question has been little addressed, despite the substantial literature on women’s representation in public decision-making and the growing research on local environmental governance. Economists studying environmental collective action have paid little attention to the question of gender. Research on gender and green governance in other disciplines has focused mainly on women’s near absence from community forestry institutions. This talk reverses that focus to ask: what if women were present in these institutions? Would that affect conservation? Tracing the history of women’s absence from environmental governance to their negotiated presence, and based on primary data from communities managing local forests in India and Nepal, the talk will provide some answers.