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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 62-73

Gender Inequality in Malidino Biodiversity Community-based Reserve, Senegal: Political Parties and the 'Village Approach'

Women's and Gender Studies Program, Clark University, Worcester, MA, 01610, USA

Correspondence Address:
Solange Bandiaky
Women's and Gender Studies Program, Clark University, Worcester, MA, 01610
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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This article illustrates how the use of village committees to manage natural resources in the Malidino Biodiversity Community-based Reserve was inconsistent with democratic decentralisation objectives. Ostensibly participatory projects that create village committees bestow discretionary power on traditional leaders who are not popularly accountable and have a poor track record of serving women's needs. This article interrogates how participatory approaches used in the Malidino reserve shaped the gender distribu­tion of outcomes in decision processes, access to forest resources and land, incomes and economic activi­ties, biodiversity conservation, and rural community empowerment and social change. It also shows how donor sponsored participatory approaches might exacerbate party politics, and through them, ethnic, kin­ship and gender cleavages by bestowing power and authority on actors belonging to a rival party and on actors with questionable democratic legitimacy. Both, the participatory parallel institutions and local governments, serve to undermine women's ability to collectively address their own interests.

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