Gender mainstreaming within international development assistance: The Olanchito sustainable forestry management project by Nepenthes - ANPFOR

Judith Bücken & Nazim Zhurtanova

Student thesis: Master thesis


The gender mainstreaming approach has gained great importance within International Development Assistance due to the argued centrality of women empowerment and gender equality to poverty alleviation and sustainable development. The approach has been widely criticized by Post Colonial feminists for not taking the local reality into consideration, and seeing Third World Women as a homogenous group with similar problems and interests. The following thesis takes its point of departure in these critiques and aims at developing a context specific approach to the integration of the women in the Olanchito Sustainable Forestry Management project in Honduras by Nepenthes/ANPFOR. During a field study in two of the nine communities that are participating in the project, we have explored the local reality and the wishes and needs of the local people. The findings suggest that income generation is of utmost importance for the women, which constitutes a great motivation to be integrated in the project. Obstacles to their integration are the high work burden of the women in the household, their confinement to the domestic sphere of the home and the presence of Machismo, which restricts them in their freedom to work outside their households. Furthermore, the findings of the thesis suggest that the women would rather like to work on the level of networks of households with close kinship ties than in women’s groups. Because of the exploratory nature of our thesis, we generate some hypotheses based on our research findings, and the thesis concludes by outlining some concrete recommendations for integrating the women in the Sustainable Management Forestry project in a context specific way.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages125