Gender roles in natural resource use in Madagascar

Sarahana Shrestha, Cortni Borgerson, Be Jean Rodolph Rasolofoniaina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding gender roles in natural resource use is essential for culturally-tailored effective conservation. Despite its conservation priority, little is known about the gender roles of forest product use in Madagascar. This study used over seven years of data from 1,255 interviews on the extraction, use, and sale of forest, freshwater, and marine resources, to examine gender roles. We found that gender significantly affects natural resource use in Madagascar. While men were primarily responsible for natural resource collection, women collected nearly all resources in at least one household. Both genders collected resources, with subsistence use as the primary incentive for resource collection. Yet proportionally, women purchased twice as much of their resources as men, and men collected resources to generate income more than women did. Gendered spaces resulted in women collecting most of the resources within rivers, whereas men collected in oceans and forested lands, with key implications for gender-aware representation in conservation management. We use this understanding of gender roles to advise natural resource management strategies which can ensure the continued delivery of ecosystem services while promoting gender equity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2344850
JournalEcosystems and People
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024


  • childhood
  • community
  • Conservation
  • forest
  • Masoala
  • watershed


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