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The Hidden Side Of Group Behaviour: A Gender Analysis Of Community Forestry Groups

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  • Bina Agarwal
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    Abstract

    Communities managing common pool resources, such as forests, constitute a significant example of group unctioning. In recent years community forestry groups have mushroomed in South Asia. But how participative, equitable and efficient are they? In the short term, many have done well in regenerating degraded lands. Are they, however, performing at their best potential, and will they sustain? Equally, are the benefits and costs being shared equitably between rich and poor households and between women and men? The paper demonstrates that seemingly successful groups can cloak significant gender exclusions, inequities and inefficiencies. It argues that these outcomes can be traced especially to rules, norms, perceptions, and the personal and household endowments and attributes of those participating. Reducing the gender bias embedded in these factors would depend on women's bargaining power with the State, the community and the family. The paper outlines the likely determinants of women's bargaining power in these arenas, and analyses ground experience in terms of progress made and dilemmas encountered

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    File URL: http://www3.qeh.ox.ac.uk/RePEc/qeh/qehwps/qehwps76.pdf
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    Paper provided by Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford in its series QEH Working Papers with number qehwps76.

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    Handle: RePEc:qeh:qehwps:qehwps76

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    1. Baland, Jean-Marie & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 1999. "The Ambiguous Impact of Inequality on Local Resource Management," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 773-788, May.
    2. Kanchan Chopra & S. Gulati, 1997. "Environmental degradation and population movements: The role of property rights," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(4), pages 383-408, June.
    3. Bardhan, Pranab, 1993. "Analytics of the institutions of informal cooperation in rural development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 633-639, April.
    4. Agarwal, Bina, 2000. "Conceptualising Environmental Collective Action: Why Gender Matters," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 283-310, May.
    5. Baland, Jean-Marie & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2000. "Halting Degradation of Natural Resources: Is There a Role for Rural Communities?," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198290612, Octomber.
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