Female forest owners: Bringing gender perspective to research on forest management

Authors: Peter Kumer*, Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Topics: Natural Resources, Gender, Qualitative Research
Keywords: forest ownership, female owners, land management, gender issues
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Bourbon Room, Astor, Mezzanine
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Forest management has been traditionally in the domain of males in most countries. They have been the favoured heirs of landed property. Although such inheritance practices help to keep the property in the possession of perpetual family, it is clear that they create gender inequalities. The structural changes in European society after second world war have caused the shift from impartible to partible inheritance. This has led into the increase in the share of females among land owners. They have predominantly not decided to acquire forest land and have suddenly become owners and forced to get more involved in activities that were once strictly a male domain. The scholarly literature has only recently focused on gender in forestry which concerns the relations between women and men and its implications on forest management. In Slovenia females represent almost half of all the private forest owners which is one of the largest shares in Europe. In our research we used mixed methods integrating quantitative and qualitative data. To understand women’s perspective, we employed face-to-face interviews and focus groups. We found that females are not uninvolved in forest management but they often engage professional workers and rely on the help from district foresters. Women also think that forest land can be managed for uses other than timber production. They are socially and environmentally oriented which may result from their traditional role in the society.

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