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Global Development Institute

Bina Agarwal awarded the Order of Agricultural Merit by France

4 July 2017

In a ceremony at the French embassy in Delhi, Professor Bina Agarwal was awarded Order of Agricultural Merit (Ordre du Mérite Agricole).

Bina Agarwal

This prestigious award, second only to the Legion of Honour when established in 1883, is given for outstanding contributions to agriculture—research, innovation or practice. It is rarely awarded to non-French nationals.

Presenting the award, Ambassador Alexandre Ziegler said, “Prof Bina Agarwal’s pioneering work on gender inequality in property and land, as well as on environmental governance, has had global impact. These issues are of significant concern internationally and have now been included even in the UN’s sustainable development goals.

Agarwal's research contributions cover both theory and empirical analysis, with a particular focus on the most disadvantaged. An economist with a keen interest in interdisciplinary and intercountry explorations, her publications include 12 books and 84 academic papers. She writes especially from a political economy and gender perspective on diverse but interconnected subjects. Her subsequent work, Gender and Green Governance (Oxford University Press 2010), explores the impact of women's presence on forest governance and conservation, empirically demonstrating positive outcomes on both counts. In 2016, Oxford University Press also published a three volume compendium of her selected papers, entitled Gender Challenges.

An original thinker and policy advocate, Agarwal brings to her work insights from both theory and field experience. In 2005, she spearheaded a successful campaign for the comprehensive amendment of the Hindu Inheritance law in India to make it gender equal. She also writes on policy matters for India’s leading newspapers.

Professor Diana Mitlin, Managing Director of the Global Development Institute said, “Bina’s research is an inspiration to academics around the world. Not only has she made a huge contribution to establishing feminist economics, Bina has worked tirelessly to ensure her evidence and insights have been translated into real change for millions of women in India and beyond.”  

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