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Annex 1 - an example from India: a women's groups' suggestions for women's participation in projects
Annex 2 - planning issues, design features and information needs of forestry project activities

Annex 1 - an example from India: a women's groups' suggestions for women's participation in projects


The ideas presented here were developed by the People's Education and Development Organisation (PEDO) in 1988. They were reported in an unpublished paper by M. Sarin, C. Sharma, R. Khanna, I. Pathak and T. Vijayendra.24

Gaining the support of women...

There are many reasons why women do not participate: lack of time, lack of self-confidence, lack of information, resistance by families, misunderstanding of project goals. In a project in India, several ideas for increasing participation came from the women themselves:

- Using folk or prayer songs and role plays to increase women's awareness about environmental problems make meetings more interesting.

- Organizing visits by groups of local women to successful environmental programs to expose them to what can be done.

- Ensuring that the timings fixed for meetings are convenient for women. - Using only the local language in village meetings.

- Organizing leadership training programs for local women so that they can motivate and mobilize other women.

- Organizing awareness generation camps for local women so that they can understand the multiple impacts of environmental degradation on their lives.

- Providing information about forest laws and people's rights to reduce fear and exploitation.

- Assisting women in building their own organizations and understand the strengths of collective action.

- Providing equal access to information as men and educating them about their rights.

- Providing local women training in managing nurseries and raising plants in baskets.

- Training women in soil and water conservation techniques.


...and gaining the support of men

Men are often apprehensive about women's participation in forestry projects and women find this apprehension an obstacle to their participation. In many of the areas of the world, women have had few opportunities to participate in local affairs. In programs and projects aimed at increasing women's participation in community forestry one major obstacle can be the opposition of men. This same group of women in Northern India suggested the following ways to reduce this opposition.

- Keep the men informed about the objectives of holding separate meetings with women to reduce their apprehensions and to check the spread of wild rumours.

- Motivate men to support increased participation by women.

- Motivate men to share women's work burden so that they have more time to participate in the program.

- Male staff members of the organization should set an example for the above by sharing the work of women in their families.

- Ensure participation of both male and female staff members in village meetings.

- In each village meeting, discuss the reasons why women's participation in all group work is so important.

- Repeatedly emphasize that no development is possible without equal participation by men and women.

- Emphasize the fact that women face some special problems for which separate meetings with women are necessary.

By considering selection and distribution of project benefits, how women can best participate, and how to gain the support of men, the chances are increased for projects to be successful. By giving women chances to gain confidence projects can increase the future effectiveness of women's participation.

The increase in confidence was clear in this Indian project designed to reduce fuelwood consumption through fuel efficient cook stoves called Chulhas. With the confidence built through this project the women have moved from a project focusing solely on stoves to one planning cooperative tree resource improvement and management as well as disseminating stoves.

The evolution of this project was possible because the field workers, and the local women themselves, gained the confidence of others and built self-confidence through the leadership role they were given. This is described very clearly in the following summary statement:

"The women who were trained as leaders had practically no opportunity to earn income before they joined the Chulha program. Most of them were shy and apprehensive about their ability to learn a new skill. But most of them needed an income desperately and found the courage to step out of their secluded lives. All of them have displayed improved levels of confidence, and the transformation in some of them has been truly remarkable."

Annex 2 - planning issues, design features and information needs of forestry project activities

Women and forestry: operational issues

The following charts are adapted from Annex IV of the World Bank Working Paper Women and forestry: operational issues, by A Molnar and G. Shreiber. The charts identify planning issues, possible design features and information needs for projects that include the following activities:

- private tree planting/farm forestry/agroforestry
- community woodlots/plantations
- watershed improvement/wasteland management
- forestry extension
- improved wood-burning devices

Women and forestry: operational issues is available free of charge from:
The Women in Development Division
Population and Human Resources Department, Room S9-127
The World Bank
1818 H Street NW

1. Private tree planting Farm forestry Agroforestry

Planning issues to consider

Information needs and possible design features

Are women or men responsible for decisions on financial and labour investments in, and management and utilization of, trees and family livestock? Are women or men responsible for family fuel supply, for livestock fodder, for grazing animals?(r) a., b. a. Collect data on men's, women's, boys' and girls' time allocation in the household and on the farm.
Are women expected to water and tend seedlings that men raise in private nurseries and trees that men have planted? Are women convinced of the utility of these species, of their labour input into this work, and of the programme as a whole? Are women's workloads likely to increase or are other women's tasks likely to be curtailed or abandoned due to increased time needed for forestry work? (r) a., b., c. b. Ensure targeted extension for women, and advise them how to reallocate their time.
Do women want to plant different species (and at different locations) than men? Do they have the right to decide what to plant and where (especially around the homestead)? (r) c., d., e. c. Collect information on men's and women's species preference and on their tree/ forest product uses by species and season, and consult with men and women about the species to be raised for distribution/planting.
Do seedlings of the species women want (e.g. fodder, fuel and fruit species) cost more to produce than those men want? (r) d., e. d. Can project nurseries produce sufficient quantities of the species wanted by men and women?
Do women have rights to certain products, in certain quantities, and at certain times from multi-purpose species, where men prefer other products? (r) f., g. e. If species wanted by women in large numbers have high production costs, not enough of these are likely to be raised in nurseries for free or subsidized distribution. Therefore, seedlings should be priced to cover production costs, or private nurseries should be set up to produce the desired species.
Are there trade-offs in selecting products to be obtained from species planted, and are some products more desired by men than by women and vice-versa? (r) g., h. f. Investigate women's rights to tree products.
Are there women's groups in the project area that could be utilized as facilitators? (r) i. g. Research tree management and harvesting practices that maximize yields of different products from multi-purpose species.
Are there traditional women's work groups or women's labour pooling/sharing arrangements in the targeted communities? (r) j. h. Investigate the economics of species mixtures to accommodate men's and women's needs, design extension messages accordingly, employ female motivators/extension staff, and train male extension staff regarding women's roles, needs and potential contributions.
Are there female nursery workers? (r) k. i. Involve women's groups in organizing planting and nursery establishment, seedling distribution, extension and credit programmes.
Do women have access to land for establishing private/cooperative nurseries? (r) l. j. Utilize women's work groups for cooperative planting efforts so that women can share the labour burden.
Do women have access to water for operating private/cooperative nurseries? (r) m. k. Can they be provided with access to land, water, training and inputs to establish and operate private/cooperative nurseries?
  l. If yes, can they be trained in nursery work/management and supported in setting up private/cooperative nurseries? If no, can the project arrange to lease land?
  m. If not, can the project provide or arrange for a reliable source of water?

2. Community woodlots
Community forest plantations

Planning issues to consider

Information needs and possible design features

Do women collect products that are important to them (nuts, fruits, fuel shrubs, fibres for local industries, grass) from the common property land that is to be cleared and/or planted, and will they lose access to it? (r) a., b., c. a. Ascertain which products women collect, in what quantities and when. What are these products used for? What income is generated? Which women depend on these products?
Do women rely on this land as an important foraging area for their animals? (r) b., c., d. b. Plan for management systems that yield benefits regularly (e.g. annual harvesting, understory shrubs or legumes that can be cut more often; wider spacing of trees).
Will women have to spend more time on fodder collection for stall-feeding or on grazing their livestock at more distant locations? (r) d., e. c. Two years before plantation establishment, plant live hedge fences that women can lop for fodder and fuelwood.
Are women expected to switch to stall-feeding with fodder raised in initial plantation years? (r) d. Plant and harvest the area in blocks so women retain access to some of the area at any given time.
Will children have to help their mothers cope with a work load increased by having to switch to stall-feeding of livestock and will this affect their attendance at school? (r) f. e. Provide targeted extension advice explaining the advantages of the new planting and management system, so that women do not refuse to cooperate because they perceive it to be too labour-intensive and/or impractical.
Do women and men differ on species to be grown in community plantations? (r) g. f. Introduce labour-saving devices for other household activities that ease demand for children's labour.
Are women likely to be the main labourers in plantation establishment?
- What tools are comfortable and efficient for use by women? (r) h.
g. Include a range of species that will meet the requirements of both men and women.
- What is women's time availability over the seasons?
- Does tree planting conflict with women's time requirements for other essential activities? (r) i.
h. Plan for tools for pitting/land preparation work that can be used by women.
Are women's groups active in the area? (r) j. i. Adjust planting techniques and schedules to meet labour constraints or choose models that most easily fit these constraints.
Do women/women's groups express strong interest in first obtaining other critical services/facilities (e.g. drinking water) before providing their labour or otherwise cooperating in project operations? (r) k. j. Mobilize such groups to take an active role in community management decision making.
  k. Can project resources be allocated for providing such services/facilities in return for obtaining the community's or women's groups' voluntary labour and cooperation?

3. Watershed improvement
Wasteland management

Planning issues to consider

Information needs and possible design features

Are significant numbers of households without adult males (permanently or seasonally?) (r) a., b. a. Evaluate if women are less able to take up land improvement activities due to labour constraints, lack of capital/credit, exclusion of desired species from programme.
Are there nomadic grazing groups where women are responsible for field and tree crops since the men spend more time in herding? (r) b., c. b. Include women in training programmes regarding new practices.
Do women control specific aspects of the farming system (land-use patterns, cash/ subsistence crops, fodder crops, field boundary utilization, homestead planting, small or large livestock, trees on homesteads/field boundaries)? (r) d. c. See that women as well as men have access to inputs, extension advice and credit programmes.
Do women and men collect/use different products from forests and grasslands within the watershed? (r) e. d. Include women in training programmes regarding new practices.
Provide women with extension advice covering all aspects of the farming system that they control.
Interview women to ascertain how their preferences for types of trees. fodder, legumes and grasses differ from those of men for various aspects of the local farming system.
Discuss with women possible trade-offs between alternative strategies and credit needs or incentives.
Does the project plan to introduce stall-feeding or other improved, but for women more time-consuming, land resource management practices? (r) f. e. Evaluate collection patterns; identify existence of traditional conservation practices (e.g. rotation) and/or harvesting techniques that are intended to preserve supply over time.
Do different socio-economic groups use the same land areas? (r) g. f. Assess likely changes in family labour allocations. Is it possible to promote dairy development (market linkages?) to increase returns from improved livestock management in case women lose time available for other productive/income-generating activities?
  g. Assess variations in women's roles in these groups.
Do women traditionally pool/share labour resources among households for work on individual holdings? (r) h. h. Investigate if women can be mobilized in groups to pool their labour for land improvement activities on individual holdings.
Are there women's groups in the target area that could be used as facilitators? (r) i. i. Involve women's groups in facilitating extension and credit programmes for women.

4. Forestry extension

Information needs and possible design features

Information needs and possible design features

Do the executing agencies have an interest in, or awareness of, women's issues? (r) a., b. a. Carry out a study of women's roles in the prevailing household and farming economy, of the time and labour contribution of each family member, and of gender roles in forestry activities.
Does the project provide for additional staff, and does the executing agency have budgetary resources for this? (r) a., b. b. Use this study as basis for training courses for male and female extension staff on ways to address women's needs, mobilize female resources, and include women's perspectives in planning.
Is there a willingness to make a concerted effort to involve women, but there are no women in upper levels of management? (r) c., d. c. If the project includes training camps for farmers, hold special training camps for groups of women.
Are project staff interested in, and experienced with, involving women? (r) d., e. d. Recruit a cadre of female motivators and design a concrete programme of specific messages they are expected to convey.
Is women's mobility limited/constrained in the societies included in the project? (r) f. e. Recruit women at professional levels in the implementing agency and the extension service to help design programmes and supervise other female staff
Are there differences in the public fore that men and women can attend, and differences in their leisure time? (r) g. f. Recruit/employ female extension staff at all field levels.
Are there women's groups in the project area? (r) h. g. Give female motivators appropriate transport facilities (or travel funds) to cover their extension area as effectively as male staff Deploy female extension staff in pairs if socially necessary. Assign to female staff working areas that they can realistically cover, given their degree of mobility.
  h. Ensure that extension activities - film showings, group discussions, etc. - are held at times women can attend and in fore where it is socially acceptable for women to come (local markets are one possibility).
  i. Involve women's groups in extension delivery.

5. Improved wood-burning devices

Planning issues to consider

Information needs and possible design features

How often do women cook and for what periods of time during day and evening?
What other activities do women undertake at the same time?
What fuels are used? What mixtures of fuels? How are these prepared?
Are stoves used for heating, for cooking, or for heating and cooking?
What kinds of food are prepared, and what are the cooking conditions required for their preparation? (r) a., b., c., d., e.
a. Make sure improved models are adapted to local use and maintenance capabilities.
Do women perceive cooking fuel to have a "cost" in terms of labour and cash and do they, therefore, perceive a value in the "savings" from improved stoves? (r) f. b. Make sure stove size, height and capacity are appropriate to women's cooking patterns and other activities that are carried out at the same time.
Is the time required to cook with the new device acceptable to women users? (r) g. c. Evaluate the cost efficiency of the improved device under local conditions, with women cooking normal types of meals and for different sizes of household, using available fuels in normal mixtures.
Are there artisans or entrepreneurs in the project who could reproduce the model device? (r) h. d. Budget for adequate training and follow-up, including the required number of trained promoters.
What variation is there in the quality of raw materials (clay, mud, bricks, etc.) used to make the new devices? (r) i. e. Prepare to modify designs if project monitoring reveals unexpected problems.
  f. Make sure the stove can be easily cleaned by women if this is necessary.
  g. Investigate cooking pattern changes that lead to fuel saving without disrupting women's schedules.
  h. Make sure the programme maintains a supply line for the devices, including replacement parts and adequate raw materials (if the device is low-cost and of local materials it may have a short lifespan).
  i. Develop plans at the outset to make the intervention sustainable. Provide extension and training to potential private producers and marketers of the device. Evaluate the marketability of the device.

Obtaining information


1. Private tree planting Farm forestry, Agroforestry

2. Community woodlots Community plantations

3. Watershed improvement Wasteland management

4. Forestry extension

5. Improved wood-burning devices

Available data • types of trees preferred and raised, locations, tree/ forest products desired by household members

• access of men and women to extension media/services

• reports/monitoring data from other projects in the area may describe women's current roles

• survey data on family farm/ household division of labour and school enrolment rates by age/ gender

• reports/monitoring data from other projects in the area may describe women's current roles

• survey data on family farm/ household division of labour and school enrolment rates by age/ gender

• documents in country or project areas (e.g. M&E reports, studies)

• ethnographic studies of project area to identify kinds of women with influence/ mobility and gender roles in decision making

• experience with other stove programmes

• studies on the experience of other programmes in the project area

• government agencies or NGOs with experience in these areas

Quick surveys • relative decision making roles and responsibilities in farm/household activities

• sources of household cash income, and spending patterns of men's and women's earnings

• mans/women's knowledge of, skills in tree and fodder growing and collection

• visit local NGOs and research institutions that focus on these issues

• interview female plantation and nursery workers about their household responsibilities and practices and time/labour allocation

• After a community meeting, talk to a group of women about their activities

• interview women community "leaders" at home

• labour availability (male and female separately) in households of different socio-economic status, including specifically female headed households and migrant households, with special regard to labour required for recommended land management practices • local women leaders and members of local women's organizations, political fore for women

• NGOs in the project area with experience working with women

• cost efficiency of the improved stoves under local conditions - with women preparing their usual meals with commonly available and used fuels - for different socio-economic groups

• time required to cook traditional meals with the new stoves

Special studies • Mens/womens/children's relative time allocation in household/farm activities

• number/percentage of households without adult males in the project area

• fuel/fodder collection patterns and impact on forest and rangeland resources

• sources of cash income of households with different socio-economic characteristics in project area, and spending patterns of mens/women's cash incomes

• gender-specific differences in existing land rights

• monitor project benefits to women, to facilitate design adjustments

• study forestry sector and women, forest-based industries, rural energy, livestock management, and issues where information is scarce and a problem may exist

• economics of land use interventions from farmer's perspective, with site-specific economic analysis of farmers' perceived opportunity cost of labour, underemployment and farmers' perceptions of returns

• prevailing uses of private/ common land for grazing, fuel/fodder supply, supply of minor forest products, exercising area for cattle, etc.

• access to credit facilities and capital for men and women of different socioeconomic status

• review informal women's work groups or organizations that could be mobilized in the project • research on better kitchen management techniques

• research on fuel savings using different (including traditional as well as newly recommended) mixtures/ combinations of various traditionally and newly available fuels

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