Gender, Environment and Sustainability: The Journey from ‘Silent Spring’ to ‘Staying Alive’
Gender, Environment and Sustainability
The globally shared vision for sustainable development has a strong gender dimension that highlights the need to continue identifying gender equality and women’s empowerment as a core development goal. Since women have different rights (formal and traditional) over resources and decisions governing them than men do, a gender differentiated approach is required to redress some of the inequities. A woman’s position in the family and community, and her political participation, determine to a large extent her control over environment-related decisions. The roles and contributions of certain women environmentalists - Rachael Carson, Gaura Devi, Wangari Maathai, Vandana Shiva, Medha Patkar and others are discussed in view of environmental stability and sustainability. Considering different global initiatives, taking women’s needs into account and strengthening women’s leadership and participation in environment and sustainability crises is vital. Women can be powerful actors for change in the transition to sustainable energy and their involvement in the design, distribution, management and consumption of resources can go a long way in reaching internationally agreed development goals.
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