Ecology Development and Women

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Ecology, Development and Women


  •   women and environment
  • women and development
  • Women and Development 

It is difficult to define where the ‘environment’ begins or ends for women in developing countries. as child-bearers, family caregivers and consumers; as collectors and users of food-products, fuel and water; as field, forest, factory and


Office workers, women are the primary managers, and often custodians of natural resources. Women as activists and leaders are involved in campaigns to promote environmental awareness and conservation.

Women’s work is generally underestimated

Women’s work is generally underestimated. As a result, women constitute a disproportionate number of the poorest groups of people and are victims of hunger, illiteracy, poor health, scarce social and technical services, inadequate population policies, and other consequences of poverty. Furthermore, women’s participation and influence remain inadequately represented in decision-making areas related to environmental and development issues affecting their quality of life.

Women have to exploit natural resources due to poverty

Because of their daily tasks in caring for the family and community, women in developing countries are exposed to and affected by their environment. Due to poverty, women have to exploit natural resources instead of conserving them in their daily activities. Similarly, environmental degradation limits women’s ability to overcome poverty.

The Day for Women was based on the belief that improvement in the economic status of women would automatically result from the expansion and diffusion of the development process. Yet, by the end of the decade, it was becoming clear that growth was the problem. Inadequate and inadequate ‘participation’ in ‘development’ was not the reason for the increasing underdevelopment of women. Rather, it was their imposed but asymmetric participation, whereby they bore the costs but were deprived of the benefits that were attributable. The displacement of women from productive activity by the expansion of development was primarily rooted in the manner in which development projects were appropriated to destroy the natural resource base for the production of sustenance and survival. It destroyed women’s productivity by removing land, water and forests from their management and control, as well as through ecological destruction of soil, water and vegetation systems, thereby impairing the productivity and renewableness of nature. While gender subordination and patriarchy are the oldest oppressions, they have taken on newer and more violent forms through the project of development, reductionist minds attributing roles and forms of power to women, all non-Western people, and even Western male-oriented concepts. does. Nature provides ‘deficit’ to all three, and requires ‘development’. Diversity in the context of ugliness (increasing sexist supremacy) and nature’s degradation (deepening ecological crises), and unity and harmony in diversity, have become epistemologically unattainable, but nature has shrunk. The South’s poverty crisis stems from growing scarcity of water, food, fodder and fuel, coupled with increasing malnourishment and ecological destruction. This scourge of poverty affects women the most, first because they are the poorest of the poor, and then because, along with nature, they are the primary conductors of society.


In recent times, rapid development activities have lost touch with our ancient tradition and wisdom in protecting the natural ecological balance. Ecological imbalance due to developmental activities using locally available natural resources, forestry, agriculture and industrial technology based on the old model. The pressure of population and the increasing demand for resources and poverty that directly depend on natural resources for their existence have also taken a toll on the environment. The development of Third World societies has been particularly negative.


Impact on the status of poor women in both rural and urban content. As the household becomes poorer and employment becomes more difficult, the more

The wounds often become more and more weak.

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women play many roles

Women play many roles in the family, community and economy. Women can produce food and income. There are natural links between the daily tasks involved in fulfilling these roles and the natural and human resource environment. They are the main producers of food for domestic consumption. They are the main drawers and carriers of water. They produce almost all fuel-wood for domestic use. In urban areas, shelter, sanitation, potable water, and other social services are important activities for women.

Women and men differ in their perceptions of their environment and its appropriate or potential uses:

For example, women may see the local forest as a source of food, fuel and medicine for domestic use, while men may see the value of the local forest as the sale of felled trees in the market. Additionally, because women are often dependent on free items such as water, fuel wood, and fodder, they have a special advantage.


Interested in environmental protection and rehabilitation. The environmental knowledge acquired by many women is both useful and detailed. Close daily contact exposes women to the properties and uses of the natural environment more than men

  1. Disease and drought resistant crops and tree varieties, efficient fuel wood and medicinal plants. A survey in Sierra Leone showed that women could identify 31 different forest products while men were able to identify only one. The women thus represent a valuable information source on the local environment.

Women are not just resource managers. They are also victims of environmental mismanagement and

Contributing to environmental degradation. Where the resource base is shrinking or diminishing, women will have to search further and longer for fuel and water. It is women who are easily marginalized in unproductive land. The increased time and labor burden often manifested in the form of stress, poor health and malnutrition. Environmental protection and remediation projects with specific social objectives often fail to recognize the deferred needs of women and men; As a result, projects are planned with unequal benefits going to both. While it is clear that women in developing countries are often victims and agents of environmental degradation, it is important to balance this approach with the recognition that women are central to resource management and are participating in ecology movements in many countries and leading them. An example of grassroots environmental activism by women is the Chipko movement in India.


The movement began with deforestation by a commercial species, Eucalyptus, as a response to deforestation of the natural forest. Indigenous forests provided food, fuel, fodder, household utensils, dyes, medicinal substances, and income-generating products. The replacement by the single-space significantly affected the ability of rural women to maintain a subsistence household. As well as women’s grassroots activities, there are some examples of donor-sponsored resource projects that have been enhanced by women’s participation in planning design and implementation.

  1. The Andhra Pradesh Social Forestry Project in India indicates that initiatives to address women’s needs and aspirations have yielded direct benefits to women and their communities and enhanced overall project success. The process of participation of women, both as agents and beneficiaries, brings many benefits. Such benefits include raising the economic status and self-esteem of women.




Small-scale local enterprises (soil, fuel and water conservation, seed selection waste recycling, local exchange of indigenous knowledge) can benefit from new income opportunities. Material benefits extend to the welfare of the family and community such as increased food security, child nutrition, health and education. Women’s participation in resource decision-making directly contributes to the conservation and rehabilitation of the environment.

Women and Natural Resources: Biomass plays an important role in meeting the daily survival needs of the vast majority of rural households in the country: food, fish, fuel (firewood, crop waste and cowdung, organic manure, green mouth and forest Litter), building materials (wood and thatch) and medicines (herbs) are all different forms of biomass. Unfortunately industrialization and urbanization and advancement of cash economy have greatly affected the biomass base of the country. The destruction of biomass with deforestation and vegetation and its transformation away from rural and domestic needs and towards urban and industrial needs is having a major impact on the lives of all those who live in non-monetized biomass-based subsistence economies. But not only in these cultures, but in all rural cultures, women face the greatest danger.

With the growing awareness of energy and the environment. Problems Several efforts have been made by the government in recent years. Promotion of new technologies like biogas plant, fuel wood, tree plantation, smokeless chulha, hand pump etc. They can reduce the distress of rural life, improve health and meet basic household needs.

Can fulfill nights.

Drinking water: Carrying water is another extremely laborious activity done by women and consumes a lot of their time. Available information indicates that women spend long hours and travel long distances, especially in mountainous areas in arid and semi-arid parts of the country. In villages in Karnataka, a study shows that it ranges from one to 1.4 hours a day per household, while in villages in eastern Uttar Pradesh it ranges from one to 3.9 hours a day on average. Veena Majumdar, director of the Center for the Study of Women’s Development in New Delhi, explains: “Irrigation




Most schemes for rural development receive high priority, but little attention is paid to the supply of water for drinking and washing.” Little effort has been made to integrate irrigation and domestic water supply schemes. Lack of clean drinking water affects the health of children the most. But among adults, women are more vulnerable to the dangers of polluted water than men.

Female and male migration: Male migration, a common phenomenon in large parts of rural India, is a significant factor affecting the workload of women. Several factors have led to an increase in migration in search of job opportunities: population growth, increasing pressure on land, and a technological change in agriculture that has led to landlessness. Migration of agricultural laborers from Bihar and Eastern Uttar Pradesh

It now occurs on a large scale in Punjab. Similarly, in the fishing villages of Kanyakumari district, men have started migrating more and more. The destruction of forests and pastures has put immense pressure on tribal and nomadic people, leaving them landless and forcing them to migrate in search of jobs. ILO’s Andrea Menetti Singh says life can be difficult for women left behind in the village. “If oral tradition is any indication folk songs, for example, the emotional price that women pay for their husbands’ migration is enormous,” says Singh. Divorce rates among emigrants are high, meaning that the proportion of women abandoned after emigration may be significantly higher. Surveys conducted in Bombay slums also showed that men who migrated without their families are more likely to have sexually transmitted diseases, which means they are more likely to transmit these diseases to their wives on home visits. are doing.

Household fuel: Collecting fuel is an important daily task for most rural women. In Pura, to collect 1.74 tonnes of firewood every year, each firewood gathering household spends an average of 2.51 hours per day, making 172 trips in a year and each round of about 8.54 km. Madhura Swaminathan, in a study of a Himalayan rural wing in Uttar Pradesh’s Chamoli district, reports that one or more members of each household walk 5 km uphill daily and spend six to 10 hours at work. The average daily time spent by each household is 7.2 hours. Only women go to collect wood in 75 percent of the houses.



Usually three rounds are done every four days although many women go daily.

Swaminathan comments on the life of the women in these villages: “Leaving their homes at dawn after a day of about eight hours, they return to the village with their loads of wood. What is the normal working day all over the world? day’s work. On returning home, the women engaged in their household chores which included herding cattle. And finally they worked for a few hours on the land. Three meals a day are prepared in both the villages. Men from the area Due to heavy migration of women, women are also being forced to devote more and more time to agriculture.

Head Loaders: It is common to see hundreds of exhausted women carrying heavy bundles of wood early in the morning at Ranchi Railway Station. For these women, mostly tribal, it is only part of two days of grueling work. An increasing number of Adivasis and other poor people are taking to unauthorized work of cutting and selling firewood. It is an important source of income for poor people. The Xavier Institute of Social Studies has published a striking report on Headholders in Ranchi by T. Bhadur and V. Swain. A study of 170 households spread across nine villages reveals that headloading has emerged as an important occupation only in the last 15 to 18 years.

A two-day cycle: Ranchi firewood sellers, mainly tribal women, usually start their day at 2 a.m. as they have to do household chores before walking 8 km to 10 km to the surrounding forests for charcoal. has to be completed. Seven or eight years ago, the forests were just a kilometer or two away. The wood is sold in the nearest city, Ranchi. To reach the market early, women have to leave their villages the previous evening by train or bus and spend the night at the railway station. Each woman can carry a maximum load of 20 kg, which is sold for Rs 100. 5.50 to Rs. 6.50. As soon as they return, the work starts again. It is possible that at least 2 million to 3 million people are doing headloading today, making headloading the largest source of employment in India’s energy sector. Studies show that the vast majority of headloaders are women. collect firewood

Approaching is dangerous for headloaders and often means negotiating rough terrain. Moreover, no medical facilities are provided to these poor people and any disease is a



liability for them. Women are malnourished in most of the busy areas. Children of headloaders are often neglected. They often do not recover even during illness. In conditions of extreme poverty, head hauling is the only available occupation. For example, in Bihar’s Palamu district, where the incidence of bonded labor is high, bonded laborers often do head-lifting because it is the only activity that can earn them some cash: rehabilitated bonded laborers have also started head-lifting. Is done. To deter headloaders, a toll system has been introduced in some states. Girnar forests are surrounded by several tool stations; Headloaders have to pay a toll of 10 paise for every headload. Forest officials in Madhya Pradesh considered Sagarei’s suggestion that the forest department itself cut wood and auction it to headloaders. Forest officials argue that they cut trees in a scientific manner according to the rules of forestry, but experience shows that corruption often prevents this from happening.

Some solutions :- Worst thing a

1The thing about headloading is that there is no real policy. Various solutions have been suggested which are listed below:

  1. To remove mistrust, cooperative societies of tribals and forest department will be established.
  2. Alternative employment may be provided to the headloaders. Women could make handicrafts and their products could be bought by the forest department and in return wood was given at subsidized rates.
  3. Headloaders can do plantation themselves



  Women and Development :- There was increasing awareness of widespread discrimination against women, which was being given a strong voice in the women’s movement. In 1975 in Mexico, the International Women’s Year conference concluded that:

(a) In no country were women being integrated equally into the economy or the decision-making system.

(b) that there was a tendency to favor men at the expense of women in development efforts. Another concern expressed was that modernization programs and development had



The condition of women really worsened:

(a) It displaced women from traditional roles, and thus from their traditional sources of power and status.

(b) It had widened the gap between the incomes of men and women.

(c) The combined effect of development has actually increased the dependency of women.

‘Social’ Aspects of Development:

  1. New institutions that would be more responsive to the needs of women were considered necessary. Women were to be included in the development process as both participants and beneficiaries.

Thus, there was a rapid growth of women’s bureaus and directorates in many Third World countries.

  1. Women’s economic participation and contribution was invisible.
  2. In many countries, the introduction of technologies had contributed to a small male sector, while women were left in a labor intensive ‘backward’ sector.

It all points in one direction. Women have to be integrated in the development process. The belief that more enlightened planning would remove barriers to women’s participation. subsequent integration efforts

(a) were conditioned by men’s acceptance of women’s participation in an institutional structure already controlled by men.

(b) with the aim of providing women access to skills and material resources already provided to men in order to increase their cash earnings. The belief that the benefits of development can be redistributed through market participation.

(c) Since most of women’s labor was already allocated to unpaid household production, the focus shifted to ancillary activities or additional activities.

The relationship between two areas of women’s contribution to the economy is examined



In the context of only a complementary SDOL rather than a dependency.

The two main goals of ‘Integration of Women in Development’ can be seen as:

(a) to increase the welfare of women;

(b) To utilize the hitherto untapped labor force and human resources for national development.

This approach essentially translated into three types of strategies:-

  1. Welfare Oriented Strategies,
  2. Equity Oriented Strategies,
  3. Anti-poverty strategies.

The introduction of schemes suited to women’s child rearing and domestic responsibilities was important. Home-based income generation opportunities were another aspect of this approach.



Thus direct programs to increase the productivity of female labor and direct participation of women in the market are seen as remedial measures. The provision of direct inputs to facilitate women’s entry into the market, such as loans on educational opportunities, has been a key feature of enabling them to compete with men in the job market. Vocational training programs to provide marketable skills to women became a major trend in development plans.






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