Although studies emphasize that rural women are persistently being marginalized in forest governance in the Global South, some feminist scholars contend that women are still joining and engaging in forest management institutions. Drawing on the ‘Typology of Participation’ model and the ‘Gender Box’ framework, this article intends to widen our understanding of the levels and motivations of rural women participating in forest management institutions in developing countries. Published journal articles, theses, organizational reports, and conference papers were reviewed. The review demonstrates that some of the rural women who joined forest management institutions attended forest meetings, spoke during the meetings, performed some specific tasks, participated in various forest conservation initiatives, took leadership positions, and influenced forest use decision making. Existing literature further advances that the factors operating at micro-scale, meso-scale, and macro scale levels enabled, motivated and forced women to join and continue engaging in forest management institutions. This article proposes that forest policy makers, practitioners, and academicians should re-focus their interests on examining the influence of: rural men, women empowerment, adoption of information technology, and gendered sharing of roles and benefits on the continuity of women involvement in forest management institutions.
Key words: Forest governance, forest management institutions, ‘gender box’ framework, rural women, ‘typology of participation’ model.
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