Participation and Challenges of Women in Environmental Management: A Case of Buhera South District, Manicaland Province, Zimbabwe
Women form the backbone of most land restoration efforts in Africa’s rural communities. In agriculture and land rehabilitation, they offer at least 60-80% of the world’s labour. However, women in rural areas are facing multiple obstacles in accessing finance and environmental education which is essential input to increase information dissemination to curb environmental degradation. The study assesses the position of women in environmental management within in rural communities was carried out in May 2021. The focus area for the study was ward 30 of Buhera South District, Manicaland Province. Interviews and questionnaires were used to gather data of women’s precipitations, participation and challenges their faced in their involvement in environmental management. Both primary and secondary data were used in the analysis. Purposive sampling was used to isolate the 5 villages. A sample of 100 respondents were randomly selected and gave a response rate of 80%. A self-administered questionnaire was used in conjunction with the focus group discussion. The results showed that mostly women participated in environmental management projects. There was strong evidence to support that women’s participation as could be improved through incentives for participation. Giving women more property rights in rural areas may also improve participation as it would give them a sense of ownership. There was a positive correlation between willingness to participate in environmental management issues and level of education. Impowering women through incentives, land rights and education may yield positive results in protection the environment and sustainably managing Africa’s natural resources.
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