The concept of the green economy centres on integrating key aspects of economic performance – such as poverty reduction, job creation and social inclusion – with those of environmental performance. As such it inherently places a significant emphasis on gender, with women constituting approximately 70 per cent of the 1.3 billion people living on less than US$1 a day and hence the majority of those populations adversely affected by climate change and environmental degradation. Because women tend to be more dependent on common property resources (i.e. water, food or wood) and more vulnerable to the impacts of natural resource degradation than men, environmental protection and green policies can help improve gender equality, with many economic and social co-benefits.
Several studies, including the UN Women’s The Global Economic Crisis and Gender Equality (2014), indicate that improving gender equality and women’s participation leads to economic growth. It can enhance productivity, improve development outcomes for future generations, and increase the quality of societal policies and institutions, including more-representative decision making.
Relevance to the SDGs
Sustainable and inclusive societies allow for economic prosperity and equal access to opportunities for all. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 aims to redress the disproportionate impact on women and girls of economic, social and environmental shocks and views women as central actors, recognising that their knowledge, agency and collective action can improve resource productivity and encourage the sustainable use of natural resources.
Explore green growth resources related to SDG 5: