Bina Agarwal to address Forum on Social Wealth

Bina Agarwal, professor of economics at the Institute of Economic Growth at Delhi University, will speak on "Environmental Wealth and Gender Justice: from Paradox to Potential" on Thursday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Gordon Hall.

The talk concludes the Forum on Social Wealth''s lecture series.

After an extended worldwide debate, a consensus has emerged that communities can be the best protectors of the natural wealth and biodiversity of forests. Yet in South Asia, where community groups for forest management have mushroomed, we
find a paradox: women face worsening shortages of the forest products on which they depend for daily needs. Ostensibly set up on principles of democracy and inclusiveness, community forestry groups often exclude significant sections of
the local population – especially women – from voice and access. These exclusions serve as reminders that institutions of social wealth – communities and families – also can contain the seeds of poverty. How can these institutions be
transformed to realize their potential, and to unlock the potential of natural wealth?

Agarwal has held distinguished appointments at Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Michigan, Minnesota and Sussex universities, and has lectured world
wide. She was Harvard’s first Daniel Ingalls Visiting Professor, and holder of the University of Minnesota’s Winton Chair in the Liberal Arts, awarded to those who are engaged in “breakthrough research and value the academic iconoclast.”

Her award-winning book, "A Field of One’s Own: Gender and Land Rights in South Asia" has impacted national and international policies on women’s land rights. She has been vice-president of the International Economic Association, president of the International Association
for Feminist Economics, and is founding member of the Indian Society for Ecological Economics.