Gender, Livelihoods, and Sustainability

Anthropological research

Authored by: María Luz Cruz-Torres , Pamela McElwee

Routledge Handbook of Gender and Environment

Print publication date:  June  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415707749
eBook ISBN: 9781315886572
Adobe ISBN:


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Anthropological research on gender and environment aims to understand the complexity of the relationship between gender and sustainability and to bring in the interplay between local and global processes that affect the outcome of the human-environment relationships, particularly in countries of the Global South. A gender analysis is necessary in order to understand the roles of households, communities, and nations in creating long-term resource use strategies that could lead to more sustainable outcomes. Often using detailed case studies, anthropologists and ethnographers reveal the multiscale and interconnected dimensions of gender, sustainability, and livelihoods. For example, researchers have examined the impact of development mega-projects on men and women, the gender division of labour in resource-based industries, culturally inscribed gender roles in the use of resources, and women’s agency in trying to find more sustainable ways of living. Case studies provide us with valuable lessons and rich insights that illustrate the importance of considering gender when looking for ways to improve the long-term sustainability of natural resource use.

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