In most cases, the establishment of protected areas (PAs) goes hand-in-hand with an increase in conservation costs to communities living adjacent to these PAs. This paper draws insights from gender theories in particular feminist political ecology approach to unravel the impact of PAs on men and women around the Kilimanjaro National Park (NP) and the Enduimet Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Tanzania. Specifically, it investigates how the creation and expansion of two PAs in Tanzania have impacted men and women in different ways. A combination of in-depth interviews, focus-group discussions, and key informant interviews was used to collect data from local people who live adjacent to these PAs. The findings reveal that the PAs impact both men and women, but the most significant impact is felt by women due to inequality in the gendered division of labour and resources at the household level. Poor men and women together with most women in female-headed households, suffer more from strong restrictions on access to PA-based resources than other people as they have limited alternatives. The benefits of PAs in compensating for resource restrictions were found to be modest and do not meet the needs of predominantly poor men and women. The majority of local people collect resources from PAs illegally to meet their livelihood needs, despite restrictions on resource access. This study concludes that, instead of PAs paying attention to people’s relevant livelihood needs and improving their wellbeing, they have unfortunately worsened their situation.
Mariki, S. B. (2016). Social Impacts of Protected Areas on Gender in West Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 04(03), 220–235. https://doi.org/10.4236/jss.2016.43028