Global Resources

Sustainable Development from a Gender Perspective: a Glossary

Publisher: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
Publication Date: Jan 2014

Can there be sustainable development without gender equality? Too often sustainable development is still seen primarily as environmental sustainability. This narrow approach oversees some complex social, economic and ecological dimensions without adequately acknowledging gender concerns. The discussions leading up to the elaboration of a post-2015 development agenda and sustainable development goals, are good opportunities to include a gender perspective in the conceptualisation of the term sustainable development.

This glossary shall serve as a first step, highlighting the various issues a sustainable development agenda should address, as well as some concepts and ideas that have been put forward by different actors as solutions for some of the challenges facing the world community. It also shall serve to emphasize the gender relations underlying all different fields of action.

There are a number of internationally binding human rights conventions that promote and protect women’s human rights and some of them make explicit reference to sustainable development. This glossary also provides a critical perspective on the current development paradigm and tries to integrate a strong human rights approach across all subject areas. This is also done by wherever applicable referencing important UN human rights conventions and resolutions, on which the world community could build when devising possible pathways to sustainable development.

Summary adapted from source.