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Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Transformation of Governance in the South African Energy Sector: Critical Considerations for Gender Mainstreaming


Nel, D., and C. Joel. 2019. “The Transformation of Governance in the South African Energy Sector: Critical Considerations for Gender Mainstreaming.” Journal of Contemporary Management 16 (1): 313-32.

Authors: D. Nel, C. Joel


The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5, views gender equality as a basic human right. SDG 5 emphasises that the end of discrimination in all sectors across the globe, is essential to achieve SDG 5. SDG 7 calls for affordable and clean energy. Consequently, affordable energy and energy efficiency is a basic prerequisite for socio-economic development, whereas clean energy, is an essential component for preventing environmental degradation and resource depletion. Based on these SDGs, it is important that equal rights in terms of gender be reflected in the energy sector to achieve sustainable development. Gender inequality limits womans’ opportunities to participate in policy- and decision-making in terms of energy resource governance. Gender mainstreaming addresses the inequality of women and therefore implies a shift in the role of women in the energy sector. This article aims to discuss the interrelationship of the energy sector and gender mainstreaming, to work towards achieving SDGs 5 and 7. The analysis in this article is based on a qualitative approach, using unobtrusive research techniques. Data was collected through a desktop study, using secondary data, including scholarly papers and books, reports from the United Nations, ministerial websites, relevant news articles, unsolicited government reports and policies. An analysis was done to determine the development of the level of female representation at the executive decision-making level in the energy sector in South Africa. The results indicate that male representation is higher than female representation’, which may indicate, unequal access to participation in energy resource governance, which would reinforce an unequal gender power balance. Although there has been an improved effort from government in terms of gender mainstreaming and empowerment, a number of barriers remain, including a lack of gender-sensitive policies, awareness, information, and employment equity. The South African government has made some progress in terms of gender mainstreaming and there seems to be improvement in some areas in the energy value chain. However, these efforts have been fragmented and disjointed and not much has been achieved in terms of gender mainstreaming in the policy process and implementation.

Keywords: energy governance, energy resource management, gender mainstreaming, Sustainable Development Goals

Topics: Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Infrastructure, Energy, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2019

Gender Specific Perspectives among Smallholder Farm Households on Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus Issues in Ethiopia


Villamor, Grace B., Dawit Guta, Utkur Djanibekov, and Alisher Mirzabaev. 2018. “Gender Specific Perspectives among Smallholder Farm Households on Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus Issues in Ethiopia.” ZEF-Discussion Papers on Development Policy No. 258, Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung / Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn.

Authors: Grace B. Villamor, Dawit Guta, Utkur Djanibekov, Alisher Mirzabaev


The water-energy-food security nexus concept is a widely recognized analytical approach to consider and achieve sustainable development goals. However, the water-energy-food security nexus concept has mostly been analyzed at higher scales in a top-down manner, while examples of bottom-up and local scale applications remain limited. Breaching this gap, the research presented in this paper describes and assesses the water-energy-food nexus from a smallholder farm household perspective in the context of rural Ethiopia through a gender-specific lens. We adopted the “Actors, Resources, Dynamics and Interactions” participatory approach to co-develop a mental model of this nexus concept. Using this approach, we were able to examine the key elements and interlinkages among major nexus related resources that affect management according to gender. The results indicate that there are four aspects that differentiate between male and female farm household management with respect to the water-energy-food nexus. These differences include gender specific productive roles, perceptions of target resources, access to external actors, and decision making with respect to target resource management and utilization, which may affect the dynamics and governance of important components of the water-energy-food nexus.

Keywords: ARDI method, bottom-up approach, energy-food-land linkages, gender roles, intrahousehold heterogeneity, mental model

Topics: Agriculture, Gender, Gender Roles, Governance, Households, Infrastructure, Energy, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods, Security, Food Security, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Ethiopia

Year: 2018

SSE, Gender, and Sustainable Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Envisioning a Different Path


Ramnarain, Smita, and Suzanne Bergeron. 2019. "SSE, Gender, and Sustainable Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Envisioning a Different Path." Paper presented at UNTFSSE International Conference, Geneva, June 25-26.

Authors: Smita Ramnarain, Suzanne Bergeron


This paper examines the possibilities and limits of SSE for addressing the Sustainable Development goals of gender equality (SDG 5) and inclusive peace (SDG 16) through an analysis of women-centered cooperative organizations in post-conflict contexts of South Asia. The failures of neoliberal peacebuilding in achieving gender-inclusive, secure and sustainable peace, and in many cases reproducing the very structures of domination that led to conflict in the first place, have been well-documented. Consequently, many in the scholarly and practitioner community have called for an alternative economic approach, but thus far there has been little attention to what that might look like. This paper responds to that call, offering a model that recognizes the diverse economic landscape of post-war reconstruction with a specific focus on the role of SSE activities in achieving security and social provisioning.

Keywords: gender, post-conflict economies, cooperatives, peacebuilding, SSE

Topics: Civil Society, Economies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Security, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Regions: Asia, South Asia

Year: 2019

Health Services for Women, Children and Adolescents in Conflict Affected Settings: Experience from North and South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo


Altare, Chiara, Espoir Bwenge Malembaka, Maphie Tosha, Christopher Hook, Hamady Ba, Stéphane Muzindusi Bikoro, Thea Scognamiglio, Hannah Tappis, Jerome Pfaffmann, Ghislain Bisimwa Balaluka, Ties Boerma, and Paul Spiegel. 2020. "Health Services for Women, Children and Adolescents in Conflict Affected Settings: Experience from North and South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo." Conflict and Health 14.

Authors: Chiara Altare, Espoir Bwenge Malembaka, Maphie Tosha, Christopher Hook, Hamady Ba, Stéphane Muzindusi Bikoro, Thea Scognamiglio, Hannah Tappis, Jerome Pfaffmann, Ghislain Bisimwa Balaluka, Ties Boerma, Paul Spiegel


Background: Insecurity has characterized the Eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo for decades. Providing health services to sustain women’s and children’s health during protracted conflict is challenging. This mixed-methods case study aimed to describe how reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, adolescent health and nutrition (RMNCAH+N) services have been offered in North and South Kivu since 2000 and how successful they were. 
Methods: We conducted a case study using a desk review of publicly available literature, secondary analysis of survey and health information system data, and primary qualitative interviews. The qualitative component provides insights on factors shaping RMNCAH+N design and implementation. We conducted 49 interviews with government officials, humanitarian agency staff and facility-based healthcare providers, and focus group discussions with community health workers in four health zones (Minova, Walungu, Ruanguba, Mweso). We applied framework analysis to investigate key themes across informants. The quantitative component used secondary data from nationwide surveys and the national health facility information system to estimate coverage of RMNCAH+N interventions at provincial and sub-provincial level. The association between insecurity on service provision was examined with random effects generalized least square models using health facility data from South Kivu. 
Results: Coverage of selected preventive RMNCAH+N interventions seems high in North and South Kivu, often higher than the national level. Health facility data show a small negative association of insecurity and preventive service coverage within provinces. However, health outcomes are poorer in conflict-affected territories than in stable ones. The main challenges to service provisions identified by study respondents are the availability and retention of skilled personnel, the lack of basic materials and equipment as well as the insufficient financial resources to ensure health workers’ regular payment, medicaments’ availability and facilities’ running costs. Insecurity exacerbates pre-existing challenges, but do not seem to represent the main barrier to service provision in North and South Kivu. 
Conclusions: Provision of preventive schedulable RMNCAH+N services has continued during intermittent conflict in North and South Kivu. The prolonged effort by non-governmental organizations and UN agencies to respond to humanitarian needs was likely key in maintaining intervention coverage despite conflict. Health actors and communities appear to have adapted to changing levels and nature of insecurity and developed strategies to ensure preventive services are provided and accessed. However, emergency non-schedulable RMNCAH+N interventions do not appear to be readily accessible. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will require increased access to life-saving interventions, especially for newborn and pregnant women.

Keywords: health services, health system, conflict, population displacement, North Kivu, South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo, maternal, newborn, child, reproductive health

Topics: Age, Youth, Conflict, Gender, Women, Girls, Boys, Health, Reproductive Health, International Organizations, NGOs, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Year: 2020

A Qualitative Comparative Analysis of Women's Agency and Adaptive Capacity in Climate Change Hotspots in Asia and Africa


Rao, Nitya, Arabinda Mishra, Anjal Prakash, Chandni Singh, Ayesha Qaisrani, Prathigna Poonacha, Katharine Vincent, and Claire Bedelian. 2019. "A Qualitative Comparative Analysis of Women's Agency and Adaptive Capacity in Climate Change Hotspots in Asia and Africa." Nature Climate Change 9: 964-71.

Authors: Nitya Rao, Arabinda Mishra, Anjal Prakash, Chandni Singh, Ayesha Qaisrani, Prathigna Poonacha, Katharine Vincent, Claire Bedelian


There is growing concern about sustainable and equitable adaptation in climate change hotspots, commonly understood as locations that concentrate high climatic variability, societal vulnerability and negative impacts on livelihood systems. Emphasizing gender within these debates highlights how demographic, socioeconomic and agro-ecological contexts mediate the experiences and outcomes of climate change. Drawing on data from 25 qualitative case studies across three hotspots in Africa and Asia, analysed using qualitative comparative analysis, we show how and in what ways women’s agency, or the ability to make meaningful choices and strategic decisions, contributes to adaptation responses. We find that environmental stress is a key depressor of women’s agency even when household structures and social norms are supportive or legal entitlements are available. These findings have implications for the effective implementation of multilateral agreements such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Households, International Organizations, Livelihoods, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Regions: Africa, Asia

Year: 2019

Gender-Based Violence and Environment Linkages


Castañeda Camey, Itza, Laura Sabater, Cate Owren, and A. Emmett Boyer. 2020. Gender-Based Violence and Environment Linkages. Ed. Jamie Wen. Gland: International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

Author: Jamie Wen


"Around the world, it is estimated that one in three women and girls will experience gender-based violence (GBV) during her lifetime (World Bank, 2019). Rooted in discriminatory gender norms and laws and shrouded in impunity, GBV occurs in all societies as a means of control, subjugation and exploitation that further reinforces gender inequality. This publication, Gender-based violence and environment linkages: The violence of inequality, establishes that these patterns of gender-based abuse are observed across environmental contexts, affecting the security and well-being of nations, communities and individuals, and jeopardising meeting sustainable development goals (SDGs). While linkages between GBV and environmental issues are complex and multi-layered, these threats to human rights and healthy ecosystems are not insurmountable. Research findings demonstrate that ending GBV, promoting gender equality and protecting the environment can be positively linked in ways that contribute to securing a safe, sustainable and equitable future.

Purpose and approaches: Gender-based violence and environment linkages: The violence of inequality establishes a knowledge base for understanding and accelerating action to address GBV and environmental linkages. Developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of the Advancing Gender in the Environment (AGENT) partnership, this publication aims to raise awareness and engage actors working in environmental and sustainable development, gender equality, and GBV policymaking and programming spheres to inform rights-based, gender-responsive approaches to environmental policy, programmes and projects. Gender-based violence and environment linkages: The violence of inequality consolidates vast knowledge and experiences gathered from across sectors and spheres, serving as a robust reference for policymakers and practitioners at all levels to understand issues and potential interventions to address GBV as it relates to the environment. Over 1,000 sources of information, experiences and interventions from international stakeholders, national governments, civil society, environmental practitioners and policymakers, advocates and activists, and academics relating to GBV across environmental contexts from around the world were reviewed. At various stages of drafting this publication, the research further benefited from key informant interviews, input from experts through a validation workshop and extensive feedback from peer reviewers. Additionally, a survey (referred to as the GBV-ENV survey) and a call for case studies on GBV and environment linkages added to this research, garnering over 300 responses and 80 case submissions documenting evidence, promising practices and capacity needs from a broad array of stakeholders. The GBV-ENV survey responses included a range of accounts in which GBV has been a barrier to conservation and sustainable development. Fifty-nine per cent of the survey respondents noted they had observed GBV (from sexual, physical and psychological violence, to trafficking, sexual harassment, sexual coercion – rape in specific cases – child marriage linked to environmental crises, and more) across issues relating to women environmental human rights defenders (WEHRDs), environmental migrants and refugees, specifically-listed types of environmental crimes, land tenure and property rights, Indigenous Peoples, protected areas, climate change, energy and infrastructure, extractive industries, water, disaster risk reduction, forestry and biodiversity and the access, use and control over natural resources of some type in the course of their work to implement environmental and sustainable development projects.1 Meanwhile, survey responses made it clear that knowledge and data gaps, tools and capacity building are all needed to tackle GBV-environment linkages. Seventy-one per cent of respondents noted that staff awareness and understanding of GBV-environment linkages was needed to address GBV.

Key messages: This analysis reveals the complex and interlinking nature of GBV across three main contexts explored in this paper: access to and control of natural resources; environmental pressure and threats; and environmental action to defend and conserve ecosystems and resources. Gender inequality is pervasive across all these contexts. National and customary laws, societal gender norms and traditional gender roles dictate who can access and control natural resources, often resulting in the marginalisation of women compared to men. Threats and pressures on the environment and its resources amplify gender inequality and power imbalances in communities and households coping with resource scarcity and societal stress. Discriminatory gender norms and stereotypes even shape the differentiated treatment of women and men working to protect and conserve the environment, ultimately affecting the effectiveness and success of outcomes. Across contexts, expressions of GBV maintain societal and cultural gender inequalities and norms, forming a feedback loop to the detriment of livelihoods, rights, conservation and sustainable development. GBV is a systematic means of control to enforce and protect existing privileges around natural resources, maintaining power imbalances that create tensions within families, between communities and among involved actors. Furthermore, where the enforcement of the rule of law is limited, GBV abuses are used to enable illicit and illegal activities through sexual exploitation and/or to exert control over communities. As Indigenous communities are often on the frontlines of defending their territories, resources and rights from extractive projects and corporate interests, many Indigenous women face intersecting and reinforcing forms of genderbased and other violence (Wijdekop, 2017).

Access to and control over natural resources: Land, forests, agriculture, water and fisheries; Gender inequalities rooted in legal and social norms – including unequal access to education, economic opportunities and decision making – and genderdifferentiated roles and responsibilities dictate how (and if) women and men access and have control over land and resources related to forests, agriculture, water and fisheries. Evidence and experiences in the context of land and natural resources show that GBV is often employed as a way to maintain these power imbalances, violently reinforcing sociocultural expectations and norms and exacerbating gender inequality. For example, when attempting to enter into agricultural markets, women can experience intimate partner violence (IPV) as their partners seek to control finances and maintain economic dependencies (Case Study EN19).2 Moreover, gender-differentiated roles related to land and resources can also put women in a more vulnerable position to suffer GBV while carrying out daily responsibilities, as seen in firewood and water collection activities (Sommer et al., 2015; Wan et al., 2011). Access to and control over natural resources are also often a source for sexual exploitation, as seen in land tenure when authorities suggest or demand sexual favours for land rights (Matsheza et al., 2012); when male fishers demand sex-for-fish from women fish buyers and processors (Béné & Merten, 2008); or where male supervisors in natural resource industries sexually harass and abuse women, punishing those who do not submit by relegating them to dangerous work or limiting hours if their advances are denied (UN Women, 2018).

Pressures and threats on land and resources: Environmental crimes, extractive industries and agribusiness, and climate change and weather-related disasters: Environmental degradation and natural resource scarcity pose significant threats to ecosystems and livelihoods, resulting in or exacerbating biodiversity loss, food insecurity, poverty, displacement, violence, and loss of traditional and cultural knowledge. Ensuing tension and competition over scarce resources in and between communities, households and industries amplifies normative, discriminatory and exploitative gender inequalities, giving way to a rise in GBV as a means of control and reinforcement of power imbalances. For example, across environmental crimes, the weakened rule of law contributes to the sexual exploitation of women and men towards enabling criminal activities – as seen throughout illegal logging, mining and fishing operations as a means to fill labour forces (GI-TOC, 2016; UNHRC, 2011; Urbina, 2015). At other times, GBV has been employed as a method of quelling resistance from local communities during disputes and forceful displacements due to large-scale developments (IUCN, 2018; Rustad et al., 2016; Schrecker et al., 2018). Armed military and security forces involved in large-scale infrastructure developments and extractive work, as well as protected area rangers, have also deployed GBV as means to pressure local communities or exploit them. In the wake of social, financial and infrastructure stresses due to climate change and weather-related disasters, child marriage has been used as a coping strategy (UN Women, 2017; Human Rights Watch, 2015), while IPV rates rise as men use violence as a means to exert control over scarce natural resources (Dankelman, 2016). Exacerbating challenges, gender-blind disaster risk management planning can also contribute to GBV (Dwyer & Woolf, 2018; Nellemann, et al., 2011; UNHCR, 2011; WRC, 2011).

Environmental action: Women environmental human rights defenders, environmental projects and environmental workplaces: Gender-based discrimination in social, cultural, legal, economic and institutional frameworks affects the ability of women and girls to equally and safely participate and lead in environment-related activism and organisational work and programming. These barriers reinforce gender inequality in actions to defend, protect, conserve and benefit from the environment. In these contexts, GBV is used to assert power imbalances and, at times, violently discourage or stop women from speaking out for their rights, working toward or benefiting from a safe and healthy environment (GBV-ENV survey respondent SP33; GBVENV survey respondent EN53). For example, incidents of GBV against women environmental human rights defenders (WEHRDs) are on the rise (Barcia, 2017; Facio, 2015; Meffe et al., 2018), with GBV normalised to the point where violence and discrimination are experienced in both private and public spheres (López & Bradley, 2017), making it difficult for defenders to seek justice (Watts, 2018). In environmental workplaces, patterns of gender-based inequality and discrimination are often surrounded by a culture of acceptance that reinforce them and can lead to instances of violence and harassment at work (ILO, 2017; Taylor, 2014). Environmental initiatives can unintentionally exacerbate local conditions that contribute to GBV (Tauli-Corpuz et al., 2018). Ultimately, GBV undermines and can even reverse progress on meeting environmental goals.

Ways forward: Gender-based violence and environment linkages: The violence of inequality documents GBV-environment linkages across a range of contexts, demonstrating that GBV is applied as a systematic tool of control to determine the rights and prospects of people based on their gender. While the issues are vast, there are also numerous entry points to prevent and respond to GBV within these linkages. Understanding GBV and environment interlinkages is critical for effective policy-making, planning and interventions, as these issues influence one another in various ways that can hinder or negate progress. Some promising practices do exist and are leading the way for others in this area of work. Environmental programming can address GBV issues and risks by: integrating focused attention in organisational priorities and policies; raising awareness and capacities; building strategic alliances across sectors and stakeholders to expedite action; and integrating GBV considerations across project cycles. In multiple international policy frameworks; donor, aid and finance mechanism priorities; and sustainable development organisations’ strategies and plans, matters pertaining to both GBV (including prevention of and response to violence) and environment (including conservation and sustainable development) tend to be crosscutting but rarely linked, obscuring potential risks for exacerbating violence and/or environmental degradation. Bringing these interlinkages into priority focus offers a chance to see things differently, revealing strategic options for new and renewed efforts toward meeting human rights and international sustainable development commitments" (Wen 2020, xi-xvi).

Table of Contents:
1. Introduction
Section I. Gender-Based Violence and Access, Use and Control of Natural Resources
2. The Use of Gender-Based Violence as a Form of Control over Land and Natural Resources
Section II. Gender-Based Violence in the Context of Environmental Pressures and Threats
3. Illicit Natural Resource Exploitation - Links Between Gender-Based Violence and Environmental Crime
4. The Impacts of Extractive Industries, Large-Scale Infrastructure Projects and Agribusiness on Gender-Based Violence
5. The Impacts of Climate Change and Weather-Related Disasters on Gender-Based Violence
Section III. Gender Based Violence in Environmental Action
6. Gender-Based Violence in Defending Land, Territories and the Environment - The Situation of Women Environmental Human Rights Defenders
7. Gender-Based Violence in Environmental Work and Workplaces
Section IV. Pathways for Change: Recommendations for Taking Action
8. Bridging Gaps, Taking Action: Entry Points for Addressing Gender-Based Violence and Environment Links, Including for Improved Environmental Programming

Topics: Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Justice, Impunity, Rights, Human Rights, Security, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Year: 2020

Gender Mainstreaming for the Adaptation to Weather and Climate Extremes in African Cities


Oluoko-Odingo, A. Alice. 2019. "Gender Mainstreaming for the Adaptation to Weather and Climate Extremes in African Cities." Journal of Climate Change and Sustainability 2 (1): 15-27.

Author: A. Alice Oluoko-Odingo


Although women constitute one-half of the human population and provide most labour in farming, they remain poor and most vulnerable to weather and climate extremes due to inequalities in ownership and decision-making on most important livelihood resources like land, assets and cash. Peri-urban farming offers an important adaptation strategy to weather and climate extremes and through gender mainstreaming, can become a vital tool for sustainable livelihoods and sustainable development. The paper points out that although well-planned cities offer better services to urban communities and their hinterlands, the African cities, particularly, those in Sub-Saharan Africa have been accompanied by myriads of developmental and environmental challenges, which continue to perpetuate inequalities, discrimination and under-development. For instance, the lowincome communities live in risky areas without access to important services which increase their vulnerability to weather and climate induced hazards and disasters. The Paper discusses the links between gender mainstreaming, peri-urban farming, weather and climate extremes and sustainable development in Africa, where literature review is supported by fieldwork results for better policy formulations. This was an invited paper to the conference and is supported by a research gap on the need for gender mainstreaming in peri-urban farming to enhance equity and equality for sustainable development. The study was carried out in peri-urban areas of Nairobi (Machakos and Kajiado Counties) in Kenya. The results provide hope as these peri-urban areas seem to have some form of spontaneous gender mainstreaming that when positively supported would yield good results. The Article underscores the fact that a number of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could be achieved by simply targeting the attainment of SDG 5 on gender equality and women empowerment, including SDG 13 on adaptation to climate change. 

Keywords: gender mainstreaming, weather and climate extremes, peri-urban farming, Sub Saharan Africa, cities

Topics: Agriculture, Development, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Urban Planning, Livelihoods, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2019

Human Rights and the Gender Dynamics of Climate Change


Quan, Ryan Jeremiah Donato. 2019. "Human Rights and the Gender Dynamics of Climate Change." In Elgar Encyclopedia of Environmental Law, edited by Michael Faure, 235-53. Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Author: Ryan Jeremiah Donato Quan


Environmental problems affect peoples across the world, most especially marginalized and vulnerable groups, like women. Yet the plight of women who are disproportionately affected by impacts of environmental problems is not high on the priorities of many national governments. The chapter seeks to analyze women’s rights and issues in relation to the most pressing of environmental problems of our age – climate change. In the international field, the relationship between gender equality and the environment are not adequately discussed. While international organizations and non-government organizations have produced studies examining the link between gender issues and climate change, there is considerable lack of State reporting and country-specific data, not only concerning the effects of climate change on women, but also about State action to ensure the rights of women. This chapter examines the legal obligations of States pertaining to human rights of women in the context of climate change. It also considers the extent to which States and the international community, particularly the United Nations system, have addressed this issue. The study includes a discussion of the Sustainable Development Goals as the new way forward. Focus is given to Goal 5 on gender equality and Goal 13 on climate action, as well as other related goals such as Goal 1 on poverty, Goal 3 on good health and well-being, Goal 6 on clean water and sanitation, Goal 18 on life below water, Goal 15 on life on land, and Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Year: 2019

A World for Sale? An Ecofeminist Reading of Sustainable Development Discourse


Irving, Simon, and Jenny Helin. 2017. “A World for Sale? An Ecofeminist Reading of Sustainable Development Discourse.” Gender, Work, & Organization 25 (3): 264-78.

Authors: Simon Irving, Jenny Helin


The aim of this study is to examine how the sustainable development discourse created by one of its most influential proponents, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, constructs representations of gender and nature. A discourse analysis, performed from Plumwood's ecofeminist perspective, is conducted on their cornerstone text Vision 2050: The new agenda for business. We find that what might at first appear to be a roadmap out of the many crises that humanity faces today, is instead simply new twists on ‘old’ established discourses that reinforce rather than diminish forms of hierarchy and domination. Different discursive strands work together to create dualistic traits that simultaneously constructs gender, nature and some classes as a dependent ‘other’. To overcome this we elaborate on implications for teaching, research and practice.

Keywords: sustainable development, ecofeminism, Plumwood, discourse, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Topics: Development, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Year: 2017

The Post-2015 Framework: Merging Care and Green Economy Approaches to Finance Gender-Equitable Sustainable Development


Schalatek, Liane. 2013. "The Post-2015 Framework: Merging Care and Green Economy Approaches to Finance Gender-Equitable Sustainable Development." Washington, D.C.: Heinrich Böll Stiftung.

Author: Liane Schalatek


"One year after the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), commonly referred to a “Rio +20” elaborated on the global community’s shared understanding of “the future we want”, follow up processes have started to sketch out possible outlines of a post-2015 framework with a set of sustainable development goals (SDG) as likely successor to the millennium development goal process (MDG), which ends in 2015. Gender-equitable sustainable development approaches will be key to addressing the shortcomings of the MDG process, which largely failed to significantly reduce persistent poverty and inequalities, including between men and women, in a natural environment that is overstressed, continues to be depleted in the name of economic growth and development, and is taken as a given. In order to succeed, truly sustainable development needs the marrying of the care economy which recognizes and accounts for primarily women’s unpaid social reproduction and care burden with the instruments of a green economy approach that internalizes and values (not necessarily prizes and commodifies) the use of environmental resources. Making development and climate finance processes and mechanisms more democratic and gender-responsive and devoting significant resources to interventions targeting gender equality and women’s empowerment is necessary to translate states’ rhetorical commitment into concrete policy actions" (Schalatek 2013, 3).

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Ecological Economics, Poverty, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Year: 2013


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