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Women, Environment and Sustainable Development: A Case Study of Khul Gad Micro Watershed of Kumoun Himalaya

  • Singh, S.

Women in the marginal areas of Uttarakhand have always played and continue to play a significant role in managing and operating most of the household and agricultural activities. They are the main subsistence provider in the hills and considered the backbone of hill agriculture. Their lives are intrinsically related to land, water, forest, which are the main components and integral parts of an eco-system. An adverse effect on any one of these components disturbs the other components due to strong linkages and interrelationship with each other and creates havoc on the life of people, especially women in the region. However, in recent years, environmental degradation, poor resource management and increased migration of men to the plains have deteriorated the livelihood options and added more workload to women of the region. The sufferings of the communities in these hilly areas are gradually increasing and their standard of living is declining because they have been neglected at both policy and practice levels by the government. The nexus between women, environment degradation and poverty are poorly understood and rarely treated in an integrated way. Therefore, the key objective of the present paper is to analyse the work participation of women operating at different sub-systems, impact of environmental degradation and role of women in sustaining the traditional agro-ecosystem in Khul Gad micro-watershed of Kumoun Himalaya.

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