Perceived equity in marine management and conservation: Exploring gender intersectionality in Fiji

Cristina Ruano-Chamorro,
G.G. Gurney
S. Dulunaqio

Ensuring equitable decision-making and distribution of costs and benefits in conservation and natural resource management is morally right and instrumental to achieving positive social and ecological outcomes. Understanding perceived equity is key; equity is subjective, context-dependent and has implications for legitimacy, cooperation and wellbeing. Since gender, in combination with other social characteristics, influences how people benefit or participate in management, examining perceived fairness from an intersectional perspective is crucial. However, few studies have examined people’s perceptions of equity and how those perceptions are related to intersecting identities. Using data from ten villages in Fiji, we assess how perceptions of distributional and procedural equity differ by gender and the intersection between gender and other social identity characteristics (migrant status, age, education, marital status and wealth). We found that the majority of respondents identified the broader community as benefiting the most from management, while women were the most negatively affected. Overall, respondents’ perceptions of distributional and procedural fairness were high regardless of gender. The intersection between gender and other social identity characteristics was not significantly related to perceived fairness, except in relation to migrant status; migrant men were less likely to perceive distributional
fairness. The study provides new insights into patterns of perceived (un)fairness in marine management and conservation. It reveals a discrepancy between conservation costs (women are seen as more negatively affected by conservation) and fairness perceptions (women are not more likely to perceive unfairness). The findings can inform conservation theory and practice aimed at fostering equity in conservation and management.

Research Type(s)
Journal Article
July 4, 2024
Published in

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