Agroforestry: A Gender and Environment Analysis: A Case Study of the Care-Siaya (Kenya) Agroforestry Extension Programme

Recent discussions of environment and development suggest that gender is a central factor in both the degradation of the natural environment and the potential for sustainable development that will ameliorate and prevent further environmental decline. Pursuing the relationships between gender, environment and development, this paper formulates a gender and environment analysis and applies it to an examination of an agroforestry development project in Siaya District, Western Kenya. The basic premise of agroforestry is that agricultural and forestry production in addition to environmental protection can be achieved within the same land use system. Few studies however, have adequately examined both the conceptual and practical relationships between gender, development and agroforestry. This paper asserts that in Siaya District, Kenya, gender relations shape the practice and potential of agroforestry as a sustainable land use system and conversely, the practice of agroforestry influences gender relations at various levels of society. At the widest level of society, statutory and customary land and tree tenure play a fundamental role in gender and agroforestry.

Within the household, gender shapes the relationships between labour allocation, decision-making and control of agroforestry benefits. Gender relations also influence individual men's and women's environmental perceptions, emotions and experience which in turn, mould the practice of agroforestry and the nature of rural development in Siaya District.

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