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Women, Men, and Environmental Change Justine Sass, MSc Policy Analyst, PRB © 2002 Population Reference Bureau.

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Presentation on theme: "Women, Men, and Environmental Change Justine Sass, MSc Policy Analyst, PRB © 2002 Population Reference Bureau."— Presentation transcript:

1 Women, Men, and Environmental Change Justine Sass, MSc Policy Analyst, PRB © 2002 Population Reference Bureau

2 Humans Environment Framework of Analysis PopulationPopulation HealthHealth

3 Gender Gender refers to the social roles that men and women play and the power relations between them

4 How Gender Influences Natural Resource Use Roles and Responsibilities Access to and Control over Resources Knowledge Participation in Decisionmaking

5 Roles and Responsibilities Commercial vs. non-commercial tasks Women’s additional domestic responsibilities Male migration exacerbates women’s work burdens

6 Access to and Control over Resources Economic, social, institutional, and legal constraints –Poverty –Restrictive land rights –Limited access to supportive services, e.g., extension programs, training on innovative land management practices

7 Knowledge Knowledge based on gender roles and responsibilities Gendered knowledge also varies by class, age, and ethnicity

8 Participation in Decisionmaking Women’s involvement in formulation, planning, and execution of policy law Women’s participation often at local level Failure to include women’s and men’s activities leads to policies that criminalize activities without changing behavior

9 Humans Environment Framework of Analysis PopulationPopulation HealthHealth

10 Impact of Environmental Degradation on Women and Men More time and energy on tasks Exposure to indoor pollutants Decreased nutrition for families Increased reproductive risks

11 More Time and Energy on Tasks Greater time, distances to travel for resources Higher school drop-out rates Higher calorie use Compounded risk of malnutrition in resource-poor settings

12 Exposure to Indoor Pollutants Source: S. Saksena et al., “Patterns of Daily Exposure to TSP and CO in the Gahrwal Himalaya,” AtmosphericEnvironment (26A, 1992):

13 Decreased Nutrition Less nutritious foods that can be eaten raw or partially cooked Partially cooked food that can prove toxic Eating leftovers that can rot in tropical climates Women and female children hit hardest

14 Increased Reproductive Risks Exposure to agricultural and industrial chemicals and organic pollutants increase morbidity and mortality Pesticide exposure linked to stillbirths, perinatal deaths, birth defects, testicular cancer, and lower sperm counts

15 Gender-responsive Policies and Programs Collecting and analyzing sex- disaggregated data Strengthening women’s involvement in environmental decisionmaking Issuing gender policy declarations Signing international agreements

16 Collecting and Analyzing Sex- Disaggregated Data Data that provide information on women’s and men’s resource use, access to resources, and participation in environmental decisionmaking Examples: –Brazil: Jaú National Park –Tunisia: Five-Year Plan

17 Strengthening Women’s Involvement in Decisionmaking “Advancing gender equality, through reversing the various social and economic handicaps that make women voiceless and powerless, may also be one of the best ways of saving the environment.” -Amartya Sen

18 Issuing Gender Policy Declarations Demonstrate government’s intent to address gender concerns Provide reference document for technical staff Provide the basis for action Examples: Uganda, Philippines; At the regional level: Meso-America

19 Signing International Agreements Influence government policies through international “peer pressure” Advocates can use documents to approve actions/increase funding Goals and benchmarks can serve to monitor progress and encourage action

20 Opportunities to Mobilize Attention to the Issue The 46th Session on the Commission on the Status of Women Meeting of Women Leaders of the Environment in Helsinki, Finland World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa

21 Conclusions There are a number of actions policymakers and planners can take to improve integration of gender concerns into environmental planning Continued commitment is essential to achieving these goals


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