Global Resources

Women’s participation in green growth – a potential fully realised?

Publisher:
Publication Date: Oct 2012

Environmental degradation and climate change are not gender neutral. They disproportionately affect the poor; and women, in turn, constitute the majority of the world’s poor.

Green economies combat life-threatening environmental change, and improve human wellbeing; yet, as argued in this report, green growth will neither reduce the impacts of these issues on women, nor automatically increase gender equality.

The Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) believes that gender-sensitive policies are needed to ensure that women can benefit equally from greener economies. This report chronicles the results of a study to analyse the opportunities and challenges for women’s participation in green growth across the developing world.

The report outlines a number of barriers for women’s participation in the green economy, such as the lack of educational opportunities and job opportunities; cultural gender-roles and the time-burden of womanhood; and policies that limit women’s participation. It also highlights opportunities for women’s increased participation, such as increased involvement of women in institutions that advocate for women’s rights, the revision of social and environmental standards to be more inclusive of women’s rights, and the adoption of consumer-driven change using women as agents of change.

A number of case studies are also provided. One of these shows an increase in West Africa women’s participation in the cotton value chain.

This publication concludes by making a number of recommendations, in a range of areas, to various stakeholders, including international development institutions, governments and policy-makers, private sector, research institutions and academia, as well as civil society.