AKTUELLES | NEWS
GENDER @ UNFCCC COP19
LIFE is represented in Warsaw at the Climate Conference working at in bringing gender into the climate change debates. An array of gender events will take place. Follow our reports...
GENDER SUBMISSION TO THE UNFCCC
The submission by LIFE/genanet on how to advance the goal of gender balance in bodies established pursuant to the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, in order to improve women’s...
GENDER INNOVATIONS IN UNFCCC POLICY
Strategies to address “gender” in climate change policy were discussed in a side event during the SB meetings in Bonn. The links between gender balance and gender responsive climate...
This page provides an overview of gender aspects in several environmental areas. More information and background material you will find on the topic pages.
Gender & Biodiversity
In spite of all political efforts the decline of biological diversity has yet not been slowed down. Cause analysis shows that this is a cross-cutting issue which is influenced by many other political topics, for instance agriculture or traffic politics. The way we live and work, consume and produce has fundamental influence on the environment and affects us directly and indirectly. A social approach to biodiversity must take existing gender relations into consideration. Around the world, women and men are responsible for different aspects of natural resource management and have different knowledge about biodiversity. In many cultural settings it is women who protect and develop seeds, apply medicine plants or gather wild plants and fruits. But the benefits of conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources are not shared fairly and do not represent the contribution of women and men. Women are also underrepresented in political decision-making processes – their experiences, values and needs remain mostly excluded.
Gender & Energy
Considerable gender differences can be identified in regard to energy use and risk perception. Women are more likely to implement energy saving routines, whereas man tend to vote for technological solutions to the ecological problems caused by the overconsumption of energy in the North. Because women are still largely underrepresented in decision-making positions of the energy sector, their perspectives are widely neglected. This holds true for women's share in energy companies as well as for their political participation and influence on decisions regarding issues like eco taxes – which have themselves gender-specific effects – or the promotion of renewable energies. But women are struggling to have their voices heard – prominently in the fight against nuclear energy. Women are also entering the international stage, intervening in UN negotiations like CSD 14 & 15 where energy and climate change were major issues. Women's positions and activities you will find in the Energy archive.
Gender & Climate Change
Climate protection is closely linked to the issues energy and mobility/transport and their gender differences. Furthermore gender issues become clearly visible regarding the impacts of climate change: physiological distress caused by hot summers affects women respectively men differently. Also the increase in reproductive and care work after natural disasters is mainly burdened to women. Gender differences also become visible in attitudes and estimations on climate protection politics. A special side provides information on gender acitivitites in the UNFCCC-process.
Gender, Agriculture & Nutrition
From field to market stall to shopping bag and from saucepan to plate... The food supply chain does not always proceed so visibly. Many intermediate points remain invisible and make agriculture and food look like separate areas – from a Northern perspective at least. Worldwide, women run the majority of small-scale farms and take the main responsibility to secure the livelihood of their families by means of subsistence production. The negative effects of an increasingly export-oriented agrobussiness on the environment, threatening sustainable agriculture, are directly felt by resource-poor women. In industrialized countries, gender differences are mostly visible when it comes to nutritional behaviour where women generally show a preference for a more healthy diet, including organic products, eat less meat and are more critical towards risky technologies like gentech-food.
Gender, Mobility & Transport
Regarding traffic and mobility, data provision methods and categories and assessment methods for transport networks and requirement forecasts need to be revised to include a gender perspective. Mainstream mobility planning has proven difficulties in grasping gender differences that show prominently in regard to mobility patterns and the use of various means of transport. Women tend to link many short ways to fulfil their daily routines which consist of paid and care work, like for example escorting children. Public transport planning needs to mirror these mobility needs. Securing pedestrian traffic and bike lanes also benefits women who often walk short distances while men stick to cars as their most important means of transport. Consequences of a car-oriented mobility like air pollution, noise and their impacts on human health have so far rarely been evaluated from a gender-conscious perspective. Recent research shows that gender differences are significant here too.
Gender & Sustainability
The National Sustainability Strategy adopted by the German Federal Government sets long-term goals in a wide range of topics – e.g. climate protection, food & nutrition, equality and education. Every two years the achievements are reported and the strategy is revised. genanet campaigns for the systematic incorporation of the dimension of gender equality, which has been neglected so far.
Gender, Environment & Health
There definite indications that physiological sex differences influence varying reactions of male and female bodies – especially the reproductive organs – to environmental pollution and intoxication. In addition, gender relations as a social order impact on different patterns of pollutants exposure: In their daily routine, women and man only partly come across the same substances. Women come more into contact with washing detergents, cosmetics and cleaning agents while men are more often suffering from job-related illnesses like bricklayers’ itch (chromate dermatitis caused by isocyanates in cement). In many countries of the global South, but also in Eastern Europe it is mainly women working in agriculture. They bear a higher cancer risk caused by pesticides which are often employed without regard to Health and Safety.
Gender & Water
Water politics are clearly gendered. Unequal power relations between men and women also lead to women having more difficulties in accessing resources including sufficient and safe water for agriculture and especially for domestic use. In many regions women and girls are responsible for water provision, which makes them most vulnerable to the increasing workloads and time requirements caused by water scarcity. Water issues are closely linked to poverty, since poor women more often than men or better-off women rely on community goods like rivers or lakes. At the same time, women lack decision-making power in regard to water management strategies – strengthening gender mainstreaming efforts is essential in this area. In the global South and North, women organize their resistance against water supply privatization, demanding the public right for everyone to access safe drinking water.