How do gender disparities in access to and use of forest assets affect household food and nutrition security? A systematic review protocol


Chiwona-Karltun L, Clendenning J, Ellingson C, Kimanzu N, Lidestav G, Bergman Lodin J, Mkwambisi D, Mwangi E, Nhantumbo I, Ochieng C, Petrokofsky G and Sartas M.

Several studies have shown that women play a vital role in a household’s food and nutritional security while they, relative to men, often have less access and control over productive assets, including land, finance and extension services. Furthermore, the literature indicates that gender inequalities may lead to decreased food production, less diverse consumption patterns, decreased household income, pervasive poverty and food and nutrition insecurity. Particularly, studies on gender and forests have been limited in their geographical focus making it difficult to compare empirical evidence at local, regional and global scales. This lack of comprehensive information on gender, forests, food and nutrition security poses challenges in making regional and global comparisons necessary to inform research, policy and practice. There is a growing need to prioritise these issues, given current global concerns for climate change, food security and energy sustainability.

By examining the available literature, this systematic review will address the question of: ‘How do gender disparities in access to and use of forest assets affect household food and nutrition security?’ Using a multidisciplinary approach, the review will focus on the interconnections between gender and other key issues such as access and use of forest resources, food security and nutrition, primarily in developing countries. The systematic review will screen peer-reviewed research from 26 databases published between 1970 and June 2014. To identify the relevant evidence, predefined inclusion/exclusion criteria at title, abstract and full-text levels will be used to screen the secured literature. The kappa test will be used to evaluate the consistency of the retrieved literature. This review will have as a key output a report on the state of evidence, and, if data allows, an estimate of the extent of disparity of gender in the access and use of forests and its effect on household food and nutritional security outcomes. The goal of the review is to provide an overview for policy makers, practitioners and researchers of the current state of evidence and existing gaps.

To learn more about this project, contact  Jessica Clendenning,