Gender and Environmental Sustainability

12 - 26 November 2012


The United Nations 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 identified environment as one of twelve critical areas for women. In fact section ‘K’ of the Beijing Platform for Action, on women and the environment asserted that “women have an essential role to play in the development of sustainable and ecologically sound consumption and production patterns and approached to natural resource management”(paragraph 246). Five years later at the Millennium Summit in New York, world leaders promised in the Millennium Declaration “to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women as effective ways to combat poverty, hunger and disease and to stimulate development that is truly sustainable”. This vision was reflected in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including MDG 1, eradicate extreme poverty, MDG 3  promote gender equality and empower women, and MDG 7 ensure environmental   sustainability. However, until now, in most governmental reporting on MDG 7 environmental linkages to gender equality and are neglected.

Course Objective

Awareness of the gendered dimensions of environment is growing fast in Gender and Development (GAD) circles and among women’s rights activists, but in mainstream policies they still tend to be under represented.In order to bridge this gap and to design public strategies and policies and also adopt instruments that reverse and prevent environmental degradation while at the same time fostering greater equity among the different sectors of society, more information is needed about the situation of women and men at the community level and how it relates to the state of the environment.

With the aim of building capacities of the public servants/policy makers to look at environmental sustainability with a gender sensitive approach, we propose the following short courses. Following a need based methodology; these training modules can also be offered as an integrated course.


  • Development and Public Administrators
  • Planners, Extension Officials
  • NGO/INGO Workers
  • Local Change Agents

Training Modules

Module 1: Legal Instruments as a Framework for Mainstreaming Gender  

  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
  • Gender and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • Gender Equality
  • Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Gender and Sustainable Development

Module 2: Overview of Gender Issues and Climate change 

  • Vulnerability to Climate Change’s Effects
  • Social Location and Vulnerability
  • Understanding the Gendered Vulnerability
  • Gender and Climate Change Hazards
  • Gender equality, climate change and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

Module 3: Gender Mainstreaming in Adaptation Efforts

  • Human adaptation to climate change
  • Gender Inequalities Intersect with Risks and Vulnerabilities
  • Factors Influencing Risks for Women in Disasters
  • Vulnerabilities and Capacities
  • Disaster Risk Management
  • The role of Women in Climate Change Adaptation
  • Climate Change Adaptation and Equitable Access to Resources
  • Gender-sensitive Planning

Module 4: Gender-sensitive Strategies for Mitigation Actions 

  • Gender and Mitigation Efforts
  • Mitigation Technologies: the Gender Dimension
  • Adaptation Technologies: the Gender Dimension
  • Capability Approach

Module 5: Gender Mainstreaming in Financing Mechanism 

  • Instruments, Mechanisms and Modalities of Environmental Financing
  • Public-private partnership
  • Social Development and Gender Issues