Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

First Advisor

Brendan Fisher

Second Advisor

Beverley Wemple

Third Advisor

Taylor Ricketts


Nepal, gender inequality, forest cover change, demographic and health surveys, remote sensing, GIS


The United Nations recognizes empowering women as a key component of achieving numerous development-related goals. Qualitative studies suggest that communities where men and women have equal levels of agency over resource allocation and land tenure sometimes experience decreases in forest degradation and deforestation, all else being equal. However, these patterns are spatially heterogeneous, as are patterns of gender inequality in terms of land tenure and agency. This paper uses data from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) to quantify the relationship between gender inequality and ecosystem degradation using three linear regression models, Empirical Bayesian Kriging, and mapping the intersections between gender inequality and deforestation. Results from LASSO, Ordinary Least Squares, and Stepwise regression models show that there is no linear relationship between gender inequality and deforestation. Additionally, the distributions of gender inequality as it pertains to land tenure and deforestation are highly heterogeneous over space, indicating potential sociocultural and sociodemographic factors not captured in my data. Further work should focus on identifying ways to incorporate complex gender dynamics into environmental planning at multiple levels of forest governance.


All R code and data to produce this paper are available from the author upon request.