Women and the
Achievements and Emerging Challenges since Beijing
10 January - 4 February 2005
Moderated by UNEP
Sustainable development is not possible without the empowerment
of women and gender equality. The active participation of
women and the integration of gender issues in environmental
policies and actions are critical determinants for the implementation
of the commitments of the Beijing Platform for Action (1995),
the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002), and
the Millennium Development Goals. Although the crucial roles
of women in environment and sustainable development have
been recognized widely, discriminatory structures and attitudes
still result in deeply entrenched patterns of gender inequality
in these areas.
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will moderate an
online discussion on women and the environment, focusing
Week 1 (10-14 January 2005): Women and
the Environment: emerging issues.
Week 2 (17-21 January 2005): Gender Mainstreaming
Week 3 (24-28 January 2005): Women's Empowerment
and Participation in Environment.
Week 4 (31 January-4 February 2005): Strategizing
for the Future: institutions, policies and actions on women
and the environment.
You are invited to share your views, experiences and concerns
about women and the environment, as reflected in Section
K 'Women and the Environment' of the Beijing Platform for
Action (1995). Starting 10 January 2005, an online discussion
will take place to assess achievements and challenges since
the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. As part of
a series sponsored by the United Nations Inter-Agency Network
on Women and Gender Equality and hosted by WomenWatch, this
discussion will feed into the forth-coming ten-year review
and appraisal of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration
and Platform for Action, which will be held from 28 February
to 11 March 2005 during the forty-ninth session of the United
Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The discussions
can be accessed at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/forums/review/.
A summary of the discussions will be available at the CSW
in February 2005 and posted on Women Watch.
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action identified
three strategic objectives in the critical area of women
and the environment:
- Involve women actively in environmental decision-making
at all levels.
- Integrate gender concerns and perspectives in policies
and programmes for sustainable development.
- Strengthen or establish mechanisms at the national,
regional and international levels to assess the impact
of development and environmental policies on women.
Following the 5-year review of the Beijing Platform for
Action, major achievements in the field of women and the
- A positive, albeit tentative, trend towards greater
participation and involvement of women in environmental
- Steps to incorporate a gender perspective in (inter)
national and local environmental activities, policies,
plans and legislation, as well as in institutional arrangements.
- Increase in women's capabilities in the environmental
field, including their knowledge, skills, and organization.
- A growing quantity and quality of gender-sensitive environmental
research and data.
- A more holistic approach that incorporates poverty eradication
and women's economic empowerment in environmental conservation
However, during Beijing+5 also a number of obstacles to
further progress on women and the environment were identified.
- Low participation of women in environmental protection
and management, and in the formulation, planning and execution
of environmental policies.
- Insufficient numbers and inadequate influence of women
in responsible positions and a male monopoly in the management
of environmental resources.
- Under-representation of women in research and teaching
in the natural sciences.
- Lack of gender-sensitive environmental policies, programmes
- Absence of deliberate strategies to ensure women's participation
in decision-making, including lack of funding and monitoring.
- Low level of management and technical skills among women.
- Women's limited access to resources, information, education
Several factors are mutually reinforcing and contribute
to gender inequality and, in turn, hinder the realization
of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the
Millennium Development Goals and the Johannesburg Plan of
Details of the online discussion on women
and the environment
In the online discussion we hope to share best practices
and lessons learned. The focus is worldwide, and experiences
from local, national, regional and global levels are welcomed.
To register and for more information visit the discussion
website at: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/forums/review/environment/
For each of the discussions you have to register separately.
Contributions/postings should be limited to a one-page message
or 500 words.
You may also subscribe to the discussion via e-mail by
sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org
with "Women and Environment" as the subject, providing the
Online discussion: "Women and the Environment"
Name: [your full name]
E-mail: [your e-mail address]
Organization Name: [full name of your organization]
Organization Type: [specify whether organization is an NGO,
UN entity, government, academia or other]
Country/region: [country/region your represent]
Areas of interest: [Critical Areas of Concern of the Beijing
Platform for Action, other issues]
Please allow one working day to be registered to the discussion.
Please feel free to send this message to your colleagues
and other contacts.
If you have any further questions please contact the discussion
moderator at email@example.com.
For information on other discussions on the Platform's Critical
Areas of Concern and other important issues, see http://www.un.org/womenwatch/forums/review/.
We look forward to a productive dialogue!