Gender and Forests: management, policy and governance

Last changed: 02 November 2020
Chainsaw and a helmet on a log, photo.

This PhD course will provide the students with an improved understanding of gendered and power processes of and in relation to forests, primary in a northern context. The course is either 3.0 credit or 7.5 credit format. The course is part of the BECFOR research school. The 7.5 credit format of the course is also open for masterstudents (see seperate registration details below).


This course will provide the students with an improved understanding of gendered and power processes of and in relation to forests, primary in a northern context.

Learning outcomes

After passed course the student should be able to:

-          Discuss and elaborate on major theories, conceptions and perspectives on gender and gender mainstreaming in relation to forests in a northern context

-          Demonstrate a detailed understanding of gender aspects of forest management and forestry and its implications on forest organisations

-          Apply a gender perspective on organisations and governing processes and analyse potential implications and challenges

Content and Structure

The students can chose a 3.0 credit or 7.5 credit format. The 3 credit format includes the basic theoretical and methodological foundations of the concept of gender, student’s reflexive reading of course literature and seminar participation.  In addition to this, the 7.5 credits course format includes the accomplishment of an individual gender study to be presented at a seminar. The course will be organized based on the national gender equality strategy of the forest sector and its themes:

  1. Gender, gender equality and policy
    A theoretical and general introduction to the critical conceptions of gender, gender equality and its political processes, policies and implementation.
  2. Working life and organisation
    Presents how work and organisational culture is gendered and how it shape the implementation of equal opportunity strategies.
  3. Ownership and management
    Provides gender perspectives on ownership and management of natural resources by considering gender as an i) empirical variable ii) a relational and structuralizing category, and a iii) as a subsystem of a larger meaning system.
  4. Education, nature and knowledge
    Introduces and explore the gendered and social processes of knowledge from an epistemological and methodological perspective and its interrelation with various conception and understandings of nature, practices and governance.

As an introduction to each theme seminar, a lecture will be given, followed by assignments and group discussions/work in relation to the gender equality strategy. Prior to the each seminar, all students are supposed to prepare themselves by reading a selected literature. To conclude the first part of the course, a literature seminar will be held to discuss a scientific paper.


Eckert, P. & McConnell-Ginet, S. (2013) Language and gender. Cambrige Univeristy Press. (pp. 1-36)

Berit Brandth & Marit Haugen (2016) Rural Masculinity, in: Shucksmith, Mark & Brown, David Louis (red.) Routledge international handbook of rural studies. London: Routledge (pp. 412-423)

Paul Milbourne & Lawrence Kitchen & Kieron Stanley (2006) Social Forestry: Exploring the Social Contexts of Forests and Forestry in Rural Areas (in: Handbook of Rural Studies (2006) eds. Cloke, Marsden & Mooney (pp. 230-242)

Maureen Reed (2003) Marginality and gender at work in forestry communities of British Columbia, Canada, Journal of Rural Studies 19(3), pp. 373-389.

Sara Holmgren & Seema Arora-Jonsson (2015) The Forest Kingdom–with what values for the world? Climate change and gender equality in a contested forest policy context. Scandinavian journal of forest research 30(3), pp. 235-245.

Forest ownership

Elias Andersson & Gun Lidestav (2016) Creating alternative spaces and articulating needs: Challenging gendered notions of forestry and forest ownership through women's networks, Forest Policy and Economics 67(1), pp. 38-44.

Gro Follo, Gun Lidestav, Alice Ludvig, Lelde Vilkriste, Teppo Hujala, Heimo Karppinen, François Didolot & Diana Mizaraite (2016) Gender in European forest ownership and management: reflections on women as “New forest owners”, Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research, 32(2), pp. 174-184.

Gun Lidestav, Maria Johansson & Emily S. Huff (2019) Gender Perspectives on Forest Services in the Rise of a Bioeconomy Discourse, in: Services in Family Forestry. Springer: Cham, (pp. 307-325)

Forestry organization

Elias Andersson, Maria Johansson, Gun Lidestav & Malin Lindberg (2018) Constituting gender and gender equality through policy: the political of gender mainstreaming in the Swedish forest industry, Equality, diversity and inclusion: An international journal 37(8), pp.763-779.

Maria Johansson, Kristina Johansson & Elias Andersson (2018) #MeToo in the Swedish forest sector: Testimonies from harassed women on sexualised forms of male control, Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research 33(5), pp. 419-425.

Kristina Johansson, Elias Andersson, Maria Johansson & Gun Lidestav (2019) The discursive resistance of men to gender equality interventions: negotiating ‘unjustness’ and ‘unnecessity’ in Swedish forestry, Men and Masculinities 22 (2), pp. 177-196.

Kristina Johansson, Elias Andersson, Maria Johansson & Gun Lidestav (2019) Conditioned openings and restraints: The meaning‐making of women professionals breaking into the male‐dominated sector of forestry. Gender, Work and Organization.

Kristina Johansson, Elias Andersson & Therese Sehlstedt (2019) Workplace Harassment in Forestry Organizations – Gendering the Experiences of Women and Men. BioProducts Business, 4(10), pp. 125-136.

Optional literature:

Bradely, H. (2012). Gender. Polity Press.

Den öppna skogen: kön, genus och jämställdhet i skogssektorn (2019) red. Andersson, E. Umeå: Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet

Some additional changes to the literature list might accrue.


The examination for the 3 format course will consist of active participation in seminars (minimum 80%), a short written report based on course literature and a reflection on a selected research topic. In addition to this, the 7.5 format course requires in an individual work that explore PhD project from the perspectives of the course – presented both in a paper and orally at a seminar.

Next course:

1 March - 9 April, 2021

The course dates are set to the 2, 5, 9 and 12 March in Umeå. Through videoconference, students can also participate from distance in the first two meetings. The second week of the course will only take place in Umeå. For the once that choose to take the full 7.5 credit course, a final meeting will at the end of the course be decided.


2 March - 09.00-16.00
5 March - 09.00-16.00
9 March - 09.00-16.00
12 March - 09.00-16.00


PhD students - Apply here

Master students - Appyl here

Last application day:

24 February, 2020


 Elias Andersson

Department of Forest resource management
Landscape studies
Phone: +46 90 786 83 58