The unique assemblages of flora and fauna in the Himalayan region make it one of the most important biodiversity hotspots on the Indian subcontinent. Seventy-five protected areas (PAs) encompassing 9.48% of the region have been created to conserve this biodiversity and the fragile Himalayan landscape. However, this has engendered conflicts between PA management and local communities that suffer from restrictions on access to biomass resources. When resource use in PAs is prohibited, the implications of the conflict are more severe for local women, who bear the burden of day-to-day survival. Initiatives to empower women are hampered by women's lack of education and skills and by low self-esteem resulting from their marginalization by sociocultural taboos. Incentives are needed to promote meaningful participation by women in biodiversity conservation initiatives.