IWE-33806 Gender and Natural Resources


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. ir. MZ Zwarteveen
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. MZ Zwarteveen
ECE van Hoeve
dr. ir. E Rap
dr. D Joshi
JR Vera Delgado
dr. S Nandigama
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. MZ Zwarteveen

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

BIL-courses, IWE-20806

Continuation courses:



How is the use, management and knowledge of natural resources and the environment gendered? International and national policy statements on the environment frequently make explicit reference to the crucial importance of women as users, guardians and managers of natural resources. Development policies tend to refer to women as the 'local experts' on water, soils, forests and seeds. Yet, most rights to land, water and trees continue to be vested in men, while men also predominate as managers of and experts in natural resources. In this course students learn how the use, management and knowledge of natural resources are gendered. The course starts with proposing and discussing tools and concepts to identify, understand and explain this 'genderedness', and to understand its implications for equity, sustainability and efficiency. It continues with presenting different frameworks (gender and environment, feminist political ecology, eco-feminism) for analyzing gender and environment linkages. These frameworks are discussed based on cases of different countries. The course also critically examines gendered assumptions of current policy approaches to the management of natural resources. In addition, the course provides an introduction to gender sensitive planning methods in watershed, forestry and irrigation management projects.

Learning outcomes:

In the course, students learn to understand how feminist questions interact with environmental and natural resource management questions. After having followed this course, students:
- appreciate how the use, management and knowledge of natural resources and the environment are deeply gendered;
- are able to unravel gendered assumptions implicit in current approaches to natural resource development, conservation and management;
- can demonstrate knowledge of concepts and methods for analyzing gendered implications of natural resource and environmental development interventions;
- can name and discuss the trade-offs and synergies between sustainability, efficiency and gender equity in natural resources management;
- display knowledge of approaches for gender sensitive natural resources management and environmental planning processes.


The course consists of:
- plenary sessions and (guest) lectures;
- literature study;
- group discussions;
- presentations and written assignments, including an ess


Students are examined on the basis of the written assignments and presentations (1/3), and an examination (2/3).


A course reader is provided before the course.

Restricted Optional for: MILInternational Land and Water ManagementMScB: Irrigation and Water Management5MO