Women in Indian Forest Service and Its Implications–the paradigm shift within

Authors: Sonali Ghosh*, , Chandra Bhushan Kumar, Alumni, Aberystwyth University, UK
Topics: Gender, Political Geography, Asia
Keywords: Gender, Indian Forest Service, Leadership, Forest Management
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 4:50 AM / 6:05 AM
Room: Virtual 17
Presentation File: Download

Indian Forest Serve has been erstwhile a male bastion with a colonial past. The criteria and qualifications to preside over certain positions have ranged from the ability to carry out a tiger hunt in the past to modern times with the minimum fitness standards prescribed. Now more than 250 in a total of 3000 forest service officers are women. At least five women forest officers are heading the forest force in the states and several others are occupying senior positions at the policy level. Elsewhere, it has been demonstrated that increased participation of women in the community forest management at the field level leads to better resource conservation and regeneration (Agarwal, 2009). This paper argues that this got impetus with the presence of women in forest bureaucracy, who are considered more compassionate, fair, and just in decision making at the leadership level (Chandler, 2011). Gradual presence of women in the forest bureaucracy, since 1980, has brought a paradigm shift from mere scientific governance to that of facilitative governance. It underscores the need for creating conditions for increasing the intake of women in forest bureaucracy, which makes state as more participative in improving the forest management at multiple levels, be it at the policy level or at the field level.

Agarwal, B. (2009). Gender and forest conservation: The impact of women's participation in community forest governance. Ecological economics, 68(11), 2785-2799.
Chandler, D. (2011). What women bring to the exercise of leadership. Journal of Strategic Leadership, 3(2), 1-12

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