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Gender Equality and Sustainable Development: A Pathways Approach

image of Gender Equality and Sustainable Development: A Pathways Approach

The challenges of building pathways to sustainability and enhancing gender equality are both urgent. This work explores why they must be addressed together, and how this might be done. It puts forward a ‘gendered pathways approach’, as a conceptual framework for addressing the interactions, tensions and trade-offs between different dimensions of gender equality and of sustainability. The publication provides a historical review of how diverse concepts—or narratives—about women, gender and sustainability have emerged and come to co-exist. It acknowledges tensions and trade-offs in different pathways and addresses the policy and political challenges of transforming pathways towards greater gender equality and sustainability. Ultimately, the authors argue, feminist movements and collective organizing, emerging in diverse ways and places across the world, offer the greatest hope both for challenging unsustainable pathways and for charting new ones that lead us in more sustainable, gender-equal directions.

English

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Summary - Résumé - Resumen

and enhancing gender equality are both urgent. This paper explores why they must be addressed together, and how this might be done. It begins by showing the moral, ethical and practical reasons why gender equality must be integral to sustainable development. Around many issues – whether work and industrial production, population and reproduction, food and agriculture, or water, sanitation and energy – dominant development pathways have proved both unsustainable and gender unequal. Both economic, social and environmental unsustainability and gender inequality are produced by, and yet threaten to undermine, market-focused, neo-liberal patterns of growth. As troubling intersections of unsustainability and gender inequality create environmental pressures around climate change, biodiversity and pollution, so shocks, stresses and feedbacks may undermine gendered rights and capabilities even further. But the reverse is also possible: Gender equality and sustainability can powerfully reinforce each other in alternative pathways.

English

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