Women's Major Group Position Paper: A Gender Perspective On The ‘Green Economy’ Equitable, Healthy And Decent Jobs And Livelihoods
"A truly sustainable „green economy. would involve economic development that takes place within the limits of nature, and ensures a fair distribution of resources among all countries and social groups - as well as between men and women. Social equity and environmental justice must remain at the heart of sustainable development, and the outcomes of the Rio+20 UN conference in 2012.
A Gender Perspective on the ‘Green Economy’ Equitable, healthy and decent jobs and livelihoods
Women’s Major Group position paper in preparation for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development 2012
Prepared by ENERGIA, Earth Day Network, Global Forest Coalition, VAM, WOCAN, WEDO and WECF, March 2011
A ‘green’ economic system must promote social equity
A truly sustainable „green economy. would involve economic development that takes place within the limits of nature, and ensures a fair distribution of resources among all countries and social groups - as well as between men and women. Social equity and environmental justice must remain at the heart of sustainable development, and the outcomes of the Rio+20 UN conference in 2012.
Environmental conservation is critical for maintaining the earth.s ability to continue to support life, and human livelihoods. As countries confront the challenges of providing food, fuel, shelter, health care and employment for growing populations, their governments must find ways to preserve vital ecosystems and limit the disruptions of climate change, and to manage the world.s natural resources in an equitable manner, with an emphasis on human rights, gender equality, and environmental justice.
Twenty years after the first Rio conference, great inequities remain. While the wealthy consume more and more natural resources and are responsible for increasing levels of environmental damage, the poor are suffering from degradation of their agricultural land, forests, water supplies and biodiversity, and alteration of natural weather cycles due to climate change.
Social and economic inequities are especially hard on women and children as they form the majority of the world.s poor. The UN estimates that approximately 70% of the 1.3 billion people living on less than one dollar a day are women, and these figures are rising with current food, fuel and financial crises.
We need an economy that provides incentives for zero-waste, low-carbon economies that enhance and restore the natural environment, while also providing new „green. livelihoods, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for women as well as men.
Women contributions are critical Women are key agents of change.
Their contributions to new „green‟ economic activities are essential for achieving the Millennium Development Goals and responding to global and local environmental threats. Throughout the world, women are already engaged at all levels of the economy, from providing basic necessities for their families - food, water, fuel, homes and health care, to building communities and running businesses. They are forest stewards, farmers, land managers, community leaders, researchers, political leaders, technology designers, and entrepreneurs. Women reinvest a much higher portion of their earnings in their communities and make important investments and purchase decisions. Yet due to societal gender inequality, in many countries women‟s skills and contributions remain unrecognized and undervalued.
Jobs versus livelihoods – women in the informal sector
Currently the livelihoods of many women in developing countries are based on informal sector activities. Programs for creation of „green jobs. in the formal sector might in some cases even be a threat to women.s livelihoods. For example, female agricultural work is often not seen as a „job., even though women produce much of the world.s food. Their production and processing activities tend to be far more sustainable than the agro-industrial activities many men engage in, but these sectors may become the focus of „green. job creation programs. „Green jobs. should represent sustainable livelihoods for men as well as women. Female empowerment is supported by recognizing and strengthening women.s roles in both formal and informal economic activities..."
To access the complete position paper, please click here