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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Gender Equity and Sustainable Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: The World Bank Strategy for the Forest Sector
Author:Zein-Elabdin, Eiman
Periodical:Scandinavian Journal of Development Alternatives and Area Studies
Geographic terms:Africa
Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:World Bank
Women's Issues
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Development and Technology
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Economics and Trade
Abstract:This paper examines the World Bank's recent (1994) forestry strategy for Africa from a gender perspective and relates it to the Bank's philosophy of sustainable development. Although the strategy proclaims sensitivity to gender issues, it does not address women's concerns or examine the gender implications of proposed policies. Moreover, the Bank's approach to identifying the causes of forest depletion in Africa overemphasizes the role of the poor and therefore disproportionately implicates women in deforestation both because they are disproportionately represented among the poor and because by virtue of the social division of labour they are the main gatherers of fuelwood. This violates the equity principle underlying the idea of sustainable development. The author proposes instead an analytical framework of differential environmental impacts for addressing gender issues in the context of sustainable development in Africa. This framework places environmental problems in their socioeconomic contexts. Applied to the problem of forest depletion, it suggests that in sub-Saharan Africa the environmental impact of women is limited by their lack of financial and technological resources and is less damaging than that of men. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.