Women’s participation in forestry activities in Najjembe sub- county, Buikwe district
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This study was carried out in Najjembe Sub-County adjacent to Mabira Central Forest Reserve(MCFR), the major focus of the study was to assess the factors influencing women’s participation in forestry activities, the specific objectives were; to identify the roles of women in the selected forestry activities in Njjembe, to assess the benefits women derive from participating in forestry activities and the last specific objective was to describe the challenges women face while participating in forestry activities. A mixed research method which involved collection of both qualitative and quantitative was used to obtain data. Purposive sampling was employed for the study since my target population were those involved in different forestry activities, this method of sampling was used to identify the households which actively participate in the forestry activities, the methods used in data collection were focus group discussions, key informant interviews and the household surveys. Data collection instruments included questionnaire surveys, semistructured interviews and review of the literature. The information collected using questionnaire surveys was analyzed using SPSS using descriptive statistics and frequencies while information from the focus group discussion and key informants were entered in Excel and analyzed using content analysis. According to the results it was found out that women participated majorly in firewood collection, herbal medicine collection, tree seedling management and nature conservation including soil maintenance through tree planting for example on-farm, enrichment planting and boundary tree planting. The major benefits they obtain form the forest activities included; wood for household energy, medicinal herbs and income through the sale of forest products like firewood, tree seedlings and from working as casual laborers. However, women have obstacles which limit their participation to gathering of NTFPs other than participation in other forestry activities of high commercial value like timber marketing, tree planting. This obstacles included limited time due to household chores, local perceptions for example women are not supposed to own land. It was concluded that women participate majorly in collection of NTFPs. The activities they participate in are of low commercial value as compared to those of men and their participation is limited by lack of time, limited resources and local perceptions. Efforts should be made to improve women participation in forestry activities through capacity building and including women in forestry leadership positions.