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Environmental Values

Gender, Values and Power in Local Environmental Conflicts: The Case of Grassroots Organisations in North Catalonia

Mercè Agüera-Cabo

Environmental Values 15(2006): 479-504. doi: 10.3197/096327106779116104


Not much attention has been paid to gender in environmental management and decision-making. This article explores how a gender dimension can contribute to the environmental debate by means of a comparative study of three environmental grassroots organisations in the North of Catalonia (Spain). The study shows that gender is significant for distinguishing different priorities between women and men in local conflicts and in environmental interests in general. The analysis of unequal power relations between genders in grassroots organisations leads us to discuss how women have fewer opportunities to influence the environmental debate and to advance their ideas. The concluding thoughts stress the need for developing a gender dimension in environmental management and decision-making, considering the opportunities that are presented by emerging governance practices, and particularly by participatory processes.

KEYWORDS: Gender, values, power, environmental management and decision-making

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