A study on gender equality as a prerequisite for sustainable development
The study represents a contribution to the work currently under way in the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), which examines such matters as energy, climate change, sustainable consumption and production, and gender equality.
The purpose of the study is to bring out often-neglected facts con- cerning dissimilarities in the lifestyles and consumption patterns of women and men, and thus in their environmental impact, by de- scribing how men, primarily through their greater mobility and more extensive travel, account for more carbon dioxide (COB2B) emissions than women, in both rich and poor countries. The study points to how a changed behavior among men – notably rich men who are decision-makers - can be crucial in addressing climate change and in enhancing the opportunities of all human beings to enjoy sustainable development.
a) offers new pointers for the work on sustainable development by identifying real gender-specific differences in terms of male and female consumption patterns, lifestyles, access to resources and power, and environmental effects, including climate change – and how these differences are crucially important in sustainable devel- opment work.
b) provides factual information on how women’s and men’s (every- day) consumption differs, focusing in particular on mobil- ity/transport, where the gender-specific patterns are very clear, both in a rich country such as Sweden and in poorer countries, in rural and urban areas alike.
c) presents proposals aimed at giving women the same access to re- sources as men – and also, by strengthening both the gender equal- ity perspective and the voice of women in decision-making, en- hancing work on sustainable development, not least in the climate field.
The study points to the fact that today, in the light of climate change, the question of how we can create sustainable welfare is being fiercely debated – but usually without any reference to gen- der. Green technology and innovations are prime topics in this re- spect. In addition to technology – which men in particular stress as a way of solving problems – it now seems imperative to also look at sustainable lifestyles, sustainable consumption and the ‘cautionary principle’.