Gender and the Environment

Building Evidence and Policies to Achieve the SDGs

image of Gender and the Environment

Gender equality and environmental goals are mutually reinforcing, with slow progress on environmental actions affecting the achievement of gender equality, and vice versa. Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires targeted and coherent actions. However, complementarities and trade-offs between gender equality and environmental sustainability are scarcely documented within the SDG framework. Based on the SDG framework, this report provides an overview of the gender-environment nexus, looking into data and evidence gaps, economic and well-being benefits, and governance and justice aspects. It examines nine environment-related SDGs (2, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12 and 15) through a gender-environment lens, using available data, case studies, surveys and other evidence. It shows that women around the world are disproportionately affected by climate change, deforestation, land degradation, desertification, growing water scarcity and inadequate sanitation, with gender inequalities further exacerbated by COVID-19. The report concludes that gender-responsiveness in areas such as land, water, energy and transport management, amongst others, would allow for more sustainable and inclusive economic development, and increased well-being for all. Recognising the multiple dimensions of and interactions between gender equality and the environment, it proposes an integrated policy framework, taking into account both inclusive growth and environmental considerations at local, national and international levels.

English Also available in: French

Economic and well-being benefits of better integrating gender equality and environmental goals

Existing evidence shows that environmental factors have differentiated impact by gender, making women in some cases more impacted by certain environmental and occupational risks. Climate change and extreme weather events also affect men and women differently, with women often suffering most due to traditional gender roles. Developing quality infrastructure, which takes into account different needs by gender, and accelerating the transition to a low carbon economy could further women’s participation in the labour market. The effects of the current COVID-19 crisis should also be taken into account when developing policies to close gender gaps.

English Also available in: French

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