Strengthen Women's Role
in Environmental Sustainability
6 September - 15 October 1999
Working Group Summaries
About the Working Group
Over the last decade, there has been a growing understanding that environmental degradation does not necessarily affect men and women in the same way. Governments at the various UN Conferences in the 1990's such as the Fourth World Conference on Women and the Rio Summit on Development and Environment have recognized that sustainable development can only be achieved when gender inequalities in natural resource management are addressed.
During the five-year review of the implementation of Agenda 21 (Rio +5, 1997), governments acknowledged that women have played a crucial role in promoting environmental awareness at all levels. "Nevertheless, more opportunities should be created for women to participate effectively in economic, social and political development as equal partners in all sectors of the economy."
The goal of this Working Group is to develop concrete suggestions about how men and women can participate equally in processes for environmental sustainability. We invite you to share your experiences on women's active involvement in natural resource management and environmental protection. We hope to hear your experiences of women's participation in policy and management processes at all levels, including traditional community planning, NGOs and formal national bodies.
The Working Group will discuss:
The Strengthen Women's Role in Environmental Sustainability Working Group will focus on the three strategic objectives in the section on Women and Environment of the Beijing Platform for Action:
Weeks 1-2. Involve women actively in environmental decision-making at all levels
Weeks 3-4. Integrate gender concerns and perspectives in policies and programmes for sustainable development
Weeks 5-6. Strengthen or establish mechanisms at the national, regional, and international levels to assess the impact of development and environmental policies on women
We encourage all members of the Working Group -- local and central government representatives, UN agencies, NGOs, civil society groups, women associations, research institutions, and other interested individuals -- to participate actively in the discussion.