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An Assessment of Women Participation in Community-Based Natural Resource Conservation in Southeast Zimbabwe

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Document pages: 11 pages

Abstract: The study assessed women’s participation in the Communal Area Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) activities in southeast Zimbabwe. The study collected data using an interview questionnaire administered to five CAMPFIRE committees in October 2014. There were relatively no differences in the selected attributes on CAMPFIRE committee composition across the five study communities i.e., 1) the number of people and their level of education, and 2) gender and age composition. There were more men (5 ± 0.11) than women (2 ± 0.02) in CAMPFIRE program committees across the five study communities. Men dominate leadership and decision making over CAMPFIRE in south-eastern Zimbabwe. Yet, it is the women who use most of the natural resources at household level, such as game meat, wild fruits and wild vegetables as relish, fuel wood as source of energy for cooking, and baskets woven from woodland products. It was concluded that despite all the benefits that a gender sensitive approach could bring to CAMPFIRE, women participation in CAMPFIRE programs in southeast Zimbabwe was still low as evidenced by their numbers in committees that make decisions for the program. There was need for deliberate action to ensure increased women participation in CAMPFIRE programs, especially at the decision-making level. A certain number of committee positions in CAMPFIRE should be reserved for women.

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