Gender and Sustainable Development
This update focuses on the importance of having a gender perspective when conceptualising sustainable development and highlights a selection of key relevant resources featured in the BRIDGE global resources database.
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.
Achieving gender equity is critical to sustainable development. In all societies women’s and men’s roles are socially constructed, but all too frequently gender-based disparities exist that disadvantage women; this impedes their development and hence that of humankind.
Despite decades of effort, overall progress in improving women’s lives has been inconsistent. Moreover, environmental benefits and burdens affecting human capabilities are inequitably distributed. Women are still underrepresented in all levels of government and other decision-making arenas, whether at work or, for many, at home. Such lack of power is linked to higher levels of female poverty, especially in rural areas of developing countries where women are responsible for 60–80 per cent of food production as well as fuel and water provision yet have little access or control over natural assets such as land, water and ecological conditions that create opportunities for a better life.
A sustainable development pathway must be established which has an explicit commitment to gender equality and seeks to enhance women’s capabilities, respect and protect their rights and reduce and redistribute their unpaid care work. Women must have full and equal participation in decision making and policy development to create this pathway.
This collection of resources provides arguments for a gender perspective in development in order for it to be really sustainable.
Related resources from BRIDGE global resources database
The following is a selection of key resources related to the topic of gender and sustainable development featured in the BRIDGE global resources database.
You can search for more resources on the BRIDGE website, including French and Spanish ones.
BRIDGE is very excited to announce the launch the Gender and Food Security Cutting Edge Pack. Working with over 40 gender, food and nutrition experts, the pack is a result of a three year collaborative programme, which explored why food security is a gender justice issue and what needs to change to ensure gender-just food security.
In this pack, made up of the Overview report and In Brief, BRIDGE make the case for a new, gender-aware understanding of food security, arguing that partial, apolitical and gender-blind diagnoses of the problem of food and nutrition insecurity is leading to insufficient policy responses and the failure to realise the right to food for all people. The pack showcases effective and promising existing strategies.
Spanish and French versions of both the In Brief and the Overview Report will soon be available on the BRIDGE publications pages.
What works in engaging men and boys for gender equality in education, employment, care work, and political participation? Which interventions have been effective in engaging men and boys in tackling gender-based violence and in ensuring sexual and reproductive health and rights? And what challenges exist in achieving all of the above? The EMERGE project has published a document library which gathers evidence and lessons to provide a stronger basis for improving policy, learning and practice.