Environment, Sustainability & Energy

Gender is a leading factor for understanding the intersections of the environment, sustainability and energy. The poor (disproportionately women) are at a particular disadvantage from environmental degradation and lack of access to clean water and adequate, affordable energy. Women’s primary role in agricultural production, food preparation and water and fuel collection positions them as vital partners in building and implementing sound environmental policies. Investing in women is one of the most effective ways to advance sustainable development and fight global climate change. The diverse roles and needs of women must be recognized and addressed in programs ranging from rural development to green job creation and urban revitalization. Explore the resources listed below, including Related Categories links, or use the Keyword Search for more information.

Engendering agricultural research, development, and extension

 Research has shown that women, when given the capital and opportunity, make unique, positive contributions to development outcomes ranging from agricultural productivity to poverty reduction. It comes as little surprise, then, that agricultural research, development, and extension systems are generally more successful when scientists, researchers, and extension agents pay attention to gender issues. However, women continue to be underrepresented and underserved, and their contributions remain mostly untapped in national and international agricultural research. Worldwide, gender roles are culturally defined in all aspects of farming, from control of resources to production and marketing, and these definitions constrain and marginalize women. Even within the agricultural research community, most scientists and extension agents are male.


NEW Brochure: “Empower Women, Impact Climate”

 If climate change policies are going to be effective, women have to be at the negotiating table. Established in 2009 by WEDO, the Global Gender Climate Alliance (GGCA), and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) with the support of the Government of Finland, the Women Delegates Fund (WDF) supports the participation and leadership of women at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations.


Girls Grow: A Vital Force in Rural Economies

 In August 2010, The Chicago Council announced an initiative to bring attention to the role of girls in rural economies of developing countries and identify opportunities to increase investment in women and girls as a tool for economic growth and social stability. Catherine Bertini, currently a Chicago Council senior fellow and Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, served as chair of the project.


Macroeconomics and the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation

This report is the culmination of a two-day experts meeting, “Macroeconomics and the Rights to Water and Sanitation,” which took place in Lisbon, Portugal from March 31 to April 1, 2011. The meeting was organized as a means to contribute to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation’s work on gender equality and macroeconomics. To this end the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) in collaboration with the Special Rapporteur brought together economists, researchers and advocacy specialists working from a feminist perspective to offer analyses and recommendations.


Expert Profile

United States
40° 50' 10.932" N, 73° 55' 20.5068" W

Nancy Biberman founded WHEDco in 1991 with the vision of restoring the South Bronx to the beautiful, bustling place it once was. WHEDco’s first project was the renovation of the abandoned Morrisania Hospital to provide low-income families with affordable homes and economic opportunities. In partnership with neighborhood leaders, Nancy developed the Urban Horizons Economic Development Center, which houses family support services, a Head Start center, a commercial kitchen that incubates small food businesses, and a primary healthcare center. With local parents, Nancy catalyzed the construction of the adjacent public school, PS/MS 218. Recently, Nancy led WHEDco in developing Intervale Green, the largest multi-family, high-rise, Energy Star certified affordable housing development in the nation.


Bronx, NY 10452
United States
40° 50' 10.932" N, 73° 55' 20.5068" W

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Women Can’t Wait

Originally posted August 26, 2010 on Concern Blogs

By Allyson Brown*

The Summit on the UN Millennium Development Goals is fast approaching. If we are serious about beating global poverty, the empowerment of women farmers must be high on the agenda. Why?

Did you know that women produce more than half of the world’s food but earn only 10% of the world’s income? And although women produce up to 80% of food in the developing world, they often aren’t able to grow enough to feed themselves and their families.

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