Gender Mainstreaming in Community-Oriented Wildlife Conservation: Experiences from Nongovernmental Conservation Organizations in India

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Department 1

Environmental Studies


Gender mainstreaming (GM) is the promotion of gender equity and women’s empowerment in institutional policy and practice. GM can potentially improve community oriented conservation outcomes because gender roles often shape values, knowledge, use, and access=control of environmental resources. Through a mixed-methods study of 52 nongovernmental organizations (NGO)-based, community-oriented wildlife conservation projects in India, this article examines supervisors’ perceptions of the effectiveness of GM in achieving conservation outcomes. While many projects did include elements of GM (specifically, gender analysis and support for women’s empowerment), approaches tended to be ad hoc and not empirically grounded. To overcome obstacles to integration of GM in conservation, NGOs would benefit from the creation of formal gender policies to guide baseline data collection and analysis, professional development, and related empirical research. Ultimately, the study illustrates various ways in which gender and conservation issues intersect, and helps to demonstrate when a GM approach can promote the success of specific conservation projects.

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