A livelihood from the forest: gendered visions of social, economic and environmental change in Southern Cameroon

Abstract

This paper explores divergent perceptions and experiences of social, economic and environmental change of villagers in Southern Cameroon arguing that the economic crisis has impacted very differently on men and women within the same community and within households. The analysis highlights shifts in cropping patterns towards increased food crops, especially cassava and plantain, for cash. Sources of livelihood for men have diversified in the face of economic crisis, whereas women have reduced room to manoeuvre. This results in women becoming increasingly dependent on utilizing non-timber forest products for cash in order to meet their livelihood needs. However pressures on forest are increasing for a number of reasons and access to land and trees is becoming constrained, so future benefits from forest products will be contingent on clear, well defined and enforced community property rights.

Citation

Brown, K.; Lapuyade, S. A livelihood from the forest: gendered visions of social, economic and environmental change in Southern Cameroon. Journal of International Development (2001) 13 (8) 1131-1149. [DOI: 10.1002/jid.802]

A livelihood from the forest: gendered visions of social, economic and environmental change in Southern Cameroon

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