An RRA exercise was conducted prior to the launching of the "stoves" component of a social forestry programme in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. This article describes how information about women's status and roles was collected in this strictly purdah area where it "reflected on male honour if you even suggested their women were doing any 'work'". The RRA methods used are described in detail since many constraints had to be overcome : women had no formal meeting places, all initial negociations had to take place through men and it was difficult to prevent "over-zealous" men from attending discussion groups of women. Findings from the RRA are presented and an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the approach, including how far women were able to participate.
This article would interest trainers, fieldworkers, researchers, particularly those working on projects for women.
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