Women in Lupane discuss importance of natural resources conservation

Women from Shabula Village in Lupane District’s Ward 15 participated in a Natural Resources Conservation meeting which was held last week.

Women who attended the meeting highlighted that they are always left out in conservation activities yet it is them that bear the brunt of depleting natural resources. Women highlighted that degradation of forests, water sources and agricultural land have a severe effect on women as they have a high degree of dependency on the natural environment to perform their daily household maintenance tasks.


By Thembelani Mhlanga


As environmental degradation increases, more labour is needed for basic subsistence production, fuel and water collection tasks. This has a detrimental effect on women’s economic opportunities. The poorest people are generally most seriously affected by environmental degradation, and the majority of the poorest people are women and their children.

Generally, there has been little recognition of women’s knowledge and roles in natural resources management and under‐representation at the government level. Despite international acknowledgment of the need to involve both women and men in natural resources management, women remain largely absent at key levels of policy formulation and decision‐making in natural resource and environmental management programmes. This has led to women being relegated to the periphery while they are the ones who suffer the most as a result of depleting natural resources.

To promote equal opportunities for women as participants and beneficiaries of natural resources development, there is need to improve women’s access to economic resources including access to land. There is also need to promote women’s participation and leadership in decision making at all levels of natural resources management.



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