Gender issues are relegated to the periphery in current debates and approaches concerning the sustainable governance of oil palm in Indonesia. However, ongoing research by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) points to the critical roles that women play as workers, smallholders and members of affected local communities. Gender inequities follow as oil palm expansion displaces local women from land on which they cultivate food crops.
Catriona Croft-Cusworth is a writer and editor for Forests News. She has worked in media and communications in Indonesia since 2010, and holds degrees in Arts and Asian Studies from the Australian National University.