Assessment and Analysis of Rural Women’s Indigenous Ecological Knowledge and its Use in Sustaining Natural resources: A Case Study of Villages in the Counties of Nishapur and Firuzeh

Document Type: research paper


Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Faculty of literature and humanities, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.


Purpose: This study has been conducted with the overall objective of identifying the ecological knowledge of rural women, specifically their knowledge of local pedology, through a gender analysis approach.
Methods: The study adopts an exploratory, descriptive-analytical method, using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The population of the study includes female-headed households in villages with a population of more than 30 families in Nishapur and Firuzeh where women are familiar with farming activities and have actively participated in the agricultural production. To determine the sample size, first, through Cochran’s sample size formula, 22 villages were selected out of 357 villages in the population. Then, of the total number of 8810 women in the sample villages, 150 were selected through simple random sampling for questioning and semi-structured interviews.
Results: The findings revealed that the level of rural women’s awareness of their ecological environment is relatively high, which is due to living experience in rural areas for centuries. This experience has been orally transmitted from one generation to another.
Conclusion: Their knowledge of local pedology is also high, nearly conforming to the scientific classifications of soil. If combined with the official knowledge, it can be used to complement the data in local studies and in the sustaining of natural resources.


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