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Gender, environmental degradation and development: The extent of the problem

This paper attempts to establish a framework within which to examine the extent of gender bias in environment and development. The first chapter traces the emergence of gender bias as an issue in the debate about environmental and economic development and examines the reasons why this relationship is vital to understanding the link between environment and development. Subsequently, the extent to which macro-economic statistics reflect these factors and their complex interactions is exposed. Attention is then devoted to the role of gender bias at a micro level in the form of constraints on the household model and economic theory in general. These two chapters reflect the adequacy or inadequacy of current economic analysis to grapple with the gender bias issue. In the light of a case study of land management in Malawi, specific ways will be suggested in which household production functions must be extended to account for the linkages between gender, environment and development.

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