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* Gendered Knowledge and the African Shea-Nut Tree

* Gendered Knowledge and the African Shea-Nut Tree

(p.231) 17 * Gendered Knowledge and the African Shea-Nut Tree
The Social Lives of Forests
Judith CarneyMarlene Elias
University of Chicago Press

In African forestry systems, silvicultural knowledge within a rural population varies with ethnicity, socio-economic standing, age, and gender. In rural West Africa, gender roles are highly differentiated, and gender represents a key factor mediating access to agroforestry resources. Owing to differential access to, and use of, local vegetation, women and men develop knowledge about distinct resources, sometimes revealing dissimilar knowledge of the same environmental resource. This gender-specific knowledge informs local biodiversity management and is often critical to understanding the presence and diffusion of economically valuable trees. The differential knowledge held by women is especially important for the Shea-nut tree's management and selection in Burkina Faso, West Africa's largest Shea exporter and one of the world's poorest nations.

Keywords:   West Africa, Gender, Shea-nut tree, Silviculture, biodiversity management, Burkina Faso

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