This article reports on research done in 1993-94 in the Hunza and Nagar districts in the Karakorum mountains in the Northern Areas of Pakistan2. It was designed to explore whether increasing demands on women's labour inputs in an ecologically stressed area undergoing population growth might be prejudicing sustainable use of natural resources and, further, whether project interventions that succeeded in delivering resources to women might, by relieving their time constraints, contribute to environmental sustainability as a result. A study in Nepal had convincingly demonstrated that in a comparable (though not exactly similar) environment, resource degradation was leading women to take short cuts in cultivation methods that were undermining the maintenence of soil fertility under traditional cultivation methods (Kumar and Hotchkiss 1988). If a similar situation obtained in Northern Pakistan, more attention to gender analysis of production systems in ecologically fragile areas, and the direction of more resources specifically to women, might be generally warranted on environmental grounds.
Volume 51 Number 1A
Published: May 27, 2020