Gender relations in human-environment research: an introduction to methods, approaches and analysis

Presented by Budhaditya Das

Workshop Overview:

Community-based conservation efforts are often unsuccessful because they do not pay sufficient attention to heterogeneity within local communities, and the diversity of actors, institutions and interests therein. Conservation researchers have tried to overcome these limitations by studying the role of social and economic variables like livelihoods, age and ethnicity in explaining differential attitudes towards conservation. The black box of household, however, remains unopened in most studies. We often think of women only as an additive category while designing questionnaires and selecting samples. This interactive lecture will introduce gender as an analytical category in understanding social aspects of biodiversity conservation. It will highlight the relevance of gender relations in decision-making in conservation programmes as well as for determining tenure, access and control over resources. The lecture will help researchers who are in the early stages of planning their research to include gender as a critical variable in their work. Researchers who are assessing quantity and quality of dependence on forest produce are likely to benefit from the lecture. Participants will also be introduced to methods like time use surveys and gendered resource maps that can be used to research human-environment interactions, especially for drawing attention to issues of power, resource use and division of labour.


Budhaditya Das is a PhD candidate with the School of Human Ecology, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University, Delhi. His doctoral research is on forest policy, resource use and Adivasi livelihoods in the Satpuda region of Madhya Pradesh. He has earlier taught and researched at the Department of Social Work, University of Delhi. His areas of interest include forest-based livelihoods, political ecology, and gender and development policy.


Capacity: 30 Students