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Environmental Issues in India by Mahesh Rangarajan

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28

EMPOWERMENT AND DISEMPOWERMENT OF FOREST WOMEN IN UTTARAKHAND, INDIA

Madhu Sarin

What factors trigger changes in women's position in a patriarchal forest-based society? How effective are devolution policies that are rhetorically committed to empowering women to participate in forest management? This paper explores these questions with the help of case studies spread over nine districts of Uttarakhand (now the major part of the newly constituted state of Uttaranchal in November 2000) in North India. Beginning from colonial rule in the nineteenth century, 67 per cent of the region's uncultivated commons, critical for sustaining its subsistence based agro-pastoral livelihood systems, have progressively been appropriated by the state as ‘forests’. ...

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