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Back | Programme Area: Research-Related Activities

When Women Govern Forests: From a History of Absence to the Impact of Presence

Date: 14 Apr 2015

  • Time: 18:15 - 20:00
  • Location: Maison de la paix, Auditorium A1/B; Chemin Eugène-Rigot, 2; 1202 Geneva
  • Project Title: UNRISD Seminar Series

Economists studying environmental collective action have paid little attention to gender. Research on gender and green governance in other disciplines has focused mainly on women’s near absence from forestry institutions. This seminar, with its distinctly interdisciplinary approach, turns that focus on its head to ask: what if women participated in these institutions—what difference would that make? Would women’s inclusion in forest governance—undeniably important for equity—also affect decisions on forest use and outcomes for conservation and subsistence? How large a presence of women, and of which class, would make an impact? Answers to such questions could prove foundational for effective environmental governance, yet they have been subjected to little empirical investigation.

The seminar will draw especially on Bina Agarwa’s latest publication Gender and Green Governance, based on significant field work undertaken in India and Nepal and hailed by reviewers as “a magisterial work of astounding erudition” and “a classic, not just in environmental studies, but in studies of development, governance, public action and public service delivery more broadly”.


Bina Agarwal is Professor of Development Economics and Environment, University of Manchester. Prior to this she was Director of the Institute of Economic Growth in Delhi. She has been President of the International Society for Ecological Economics and is a member of the Future Earth Science Committee. Her pioneering work on gender inequality and its relationship with property ownership, as well as on the political economy of the environment, has had global impact. In 2008, she received the Padma Shri from the President of India, and in 2010 the Leontief Prize from Tufts University for “broadening the frontiers of economic thought”.

Remote access to the seminar

We will be tweeting key messages live from the seminar and welcome your comments and questions, which, time permitting, we may be able to put directly to the speaker. Follow us on @UNRISD and use the hashtag #UNRISDseminar. 

This event will be video and audio recorded. If you would like to be notified when the video and the podcast are online, please send an email with “Audio/video notification” in the subject line to sandoval@unrisd.org