Women and Water Watershed Management in Mazandaran Rural Areas

Document Type : مقاله کوتاه


Department of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Studies, Shahid Beheshti University


This study focuses on the role of men and women in watershed management. It triec-to clarify of the priorities and needs of the rural population as well as how the rural population perceives the problems in development of their village. Five counties in Mazandaran Province were studied. These are located in the Bobol, Talar and Siah Rivers watershed. Six most populated villages were selected for survey, each representing a county. Close to 30% of the total rural population lives in these six villages. Some 100 questionnaires were filled for both male and female respondents in each selected village to yield a total of 600 questionnaires by a survey team who were native students of Mazandaran Province. The study has revealed that, despite being in a fairly developed part of the country, the rural population in the study area has a moderate income and a high rate of illiteracy. In this area, women play a significant role in watershed management. Income generating possibilities in this area are not fully exploited. For example, beekeeping is practiced but is not widespread and forest products are seldom sold. On average most respondents would prefer a loan of less than Rls 5 million. Many respondents preferred monthly installments while others preferred annual or semi-annual installments, probably due to the agrarian economy. As a first priority for receiving financial assistance, most of the respondents mentioned ways to generating more income and creation of employment opportunities. Some 52% of priorities were related to living expenditure, About 31% mentioned expanding existing buildings as a priority. Asked about the problems they perceived to be challenges in development of their village, the villagers demonstrated a remarkable awareness of environmental concerns as well as social problems such as gender inequalities. Certain precautions can be accordingly made for a more effective intervention.