A cost-effective formula is available for accelerating implementation of the 2030 Agenda: enabling women’s participation and decision-making at all levels and increasing women’s access to and control over natural resources.
The latest Still Only One Earth policy brief from IISD explains that many of the barriers to effective sustainability policies are found in outdated discriminatory social norms and legal systems.
The author outlines a new mindset needed to ensure society can reap the diverse benefits of gender equality.
A policy brief published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development offers a “formula” for accelerating implementation of the 2030 Agenda – enabling women’s participation and decision-making at all levels and increasing women’s access to and control over natural resources. The brief authored by Nicole de Paula is the latest in the ‘Still Only One Earth’ series distilling lessons learned in environmental governance since the 1972 Stockholm Conference.
De Paula explains that gender inequality is a form of injustice that leaves everyone behind and compromises sustainable development: “Many of the barriers to effective sustainability policies are found in outdated discriminatory social norms and legal systems.” Achieving gender equality is in the interest of everyone and a cost-effective way to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs, she writes.
Gender inequality limits a society’s ability to bring diverse response strategies to accelerating environmental crises.
As an example of how “gender-just solutions make economic sense,” the author reports that women’s lagging participation in employment and entrepreneurship is estimated to cost the world approximately 15% of its GDP. Investing in gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls is a path to implementing SDG 5 and contributes simultaneously to the eradication of poverty, climate mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity protection, and sustainable economic growth. In addition, gender inequality limits a society’s ability to bring diverse response strategies to our “accelerating, overlapping environmental crises.”
De Paula outlines the “new mindset” needed to accelerate gender equality, calling on decision-makers, donors, and communities to:
- Ensure women’s access to and control over land and productive resources;
- Support NGOs, social enterprises, and networks that foster gender equality in the context of environmental conservation, climate action, and health promotion;
- Fund women-led organizations that work towards achieving the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs;
- Ensure that environmental policies are gender-responsive and tailored to allow women’s voices and agency in environmental and sustainable development decision-making and action at all levels; and
- Improve the quality of gender-specific data, recognizing the range of gender-based differences during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure response efforts reach girls and women in the eventual economic recovery.
The ‘Still Only One Earth’ series is being published by IISD in the lead-up to the 50th anniversary of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. The briefs assess successes and shortcomings of five decades of global environmental policy, focusing on biodiversity, wildlife trade, sustainable energy, finance and technology, climate change, plastic pollution, poverty eradication, measurement approaches, private sector action, and public health, among other issues. [Still Only One Earth policy brief series] [Publication: Gender Equality: The Formula to Accelerate Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development]