Researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder have produced an important research paper on the influence of female politicians in regard to environmental regulations. According to a summary of this valuable work by Science Daily:
When more women are involved in group decisions about land management, the group conserves more — particularly when offered financial incentives to do so, according to a new University of Colorado Boulder study published this week in Nature Climate Change.
The study, involving 440 forest users from three developing countries, sheds new light on the role gender quotas for local governing bodies could play in reducing global deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions while also curbing local inequalities.
“When policymakers think about what to do to increase conservation around the world, gender quotas don’t even come up as a viable policy instrument,” said senior author Krister Andersson, a political science professor and researcher at the Institute of Behavioral Science. “This study suggests they should.”
See the full article at Science Daily. Leading the research were Nathan J. Cook, Tara Grillos and Krister P. Andersson who included this abstract:
Interventions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions strive to promote gender balance so that men and women have equal rights to participate in, and benefit from, decision-making about such interventions. One conventional way to achieve gender balance is to introduce gender quotas. Here we show that gender quotas make interventions more effective and lead to more equal sharing of intervention benefits.
We conducted a randomized ‘lab’-in-the-field experiment in which 440 forest users from Indonesia, Peru and Tanzania made decisions about extraction and conservation in a forest common. We randomly assigned a gender quota to half of the participating groups, requiring that at least 50% of group members were women. Groups with the gender quota conserved more trees as a response to a ‘payment for ecosystem services’ intervention and shared the payment more equally. We attribute this effect to the gender composition of the group, not the presence of female leaders.