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The Major Importance of 'Minor' Resources: Women and Plant Biodiversity

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Type: Book
Author: Howard, Patricia
Publisher: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
Location: London
Date: 2003
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/6068
Sector: Agriculture
Subject(s): women
resource management
Abstract: "This paper describes how women predominate in plant biodiversity management in their roles as housewives, plant gatherers, home gardeners, herbalists, seed custodians and informal plant breeders. But because most plant use, management and conservation occurs within the domestic realm, and because the principal values of plant genetic resources are localised and non-monetary, they are largely invisible to outsiders and are easily undervalued. Gender bias has prevailed in scientific research about people-plant relationships, and conservation policies and programmes are still largely blind to the importance of the domestic sphere, of women and of gender relations for biodiversity conservation, and to the importance of plant biodiversity for women’s status and welfare. Traditional knowledge and indigenous rights to plants are everywhere sex-differentiated, and gender inequalities are also implicated in processes leading to biological erosion."

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