Promoting gender equality and the environment

Leaving No One Behind

Due to gender inequalities, environmental challenges have diff­erent impacts on men, women, girls and boys.As women represent two thirds of the poor in the region, their economic insecurity is part of a cycle of disadvantages, often caused by discrimination in employment and land ownership along with limited access to resources. Gender inequality is also becoming more apparent due to rapid urbanization, the region’s high vulnerability to climate change and disasters as well as environmental challenges like pollution and ecosystem degradation.

Despite economic growth, 373 Million people in Asia Pacific lived in poverty in 2014

Two thirds of the poor in the region are women

Facing environmental challenges. Unequally.

  • Indoor Pollution - Due to household responsibilities, women are disproportionately exposed to indoor air pollution
  • Wage Gap - In Asia Pacific, women earn one-half to two-thirds of what men earn for the same work and are more often informally employed
  • Lower Survival Rate - Women and children are more likely to die than men during disasters. Climate change will worsen this condition.

Why Gender and Environment?

We need to understand these inequalities, different needs, vulnerabilities, roles and capacities of men and women in order to have more inclusive environmentally sustainable solutions for the people in our region.

What we are doing

UN Environment Asia and the Pacific Office works hard to make sure that everyone has equal opportunity when it comes to access to natural resources, healthy environment, environmental risk reduction, distribution of food and energy, participation in green economy, as well as access to capacity and technology.

UN Environment Gender and Environment Officer, Annette Wallgren visited Myanmar to conduct assessments on gender vulnerability towards climate change as part of Myanmar Climate Change Alliance Initiative (2016).

Gender Mainstreaming

  • Climate Resilient Development - Support regional and national gender-responsive adaptation and mitigation planning, including disaster risk reduction and urban eco based adaptation planning, through inclusive consultations, planning processes and gender analysis.
  • Energy Efficiency - Ensure equal access to training, renewable energy innovation and technology and skills-development.
  • Chemicals and Waste Management - Promote gender-responsive chemical and waste management planning, through social and economic impact assessments and analysis of exposure, needs and capacities of men and women.
  • Biodiversity Conservation - Promote greater understanding and consideration of the different roles, needs and capacities of men and women in biodiversity conservation planning and inclusive integration in social and economic activities .

Strengtening Skills

  • Knowledge Management - Narrow gender gaps by providing tools and resources, like the Gender Toolkit. 
  • Access to Finance - Strengthen gender budgeting to ensure equal access to finance, promoting  gender considerations in environment and development projects, including global climate funds like Adaptation Funds,  the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environment Facility.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation - Support gender inclusive monitoring, evaluation and adaptive management through strong baselines with gender indicators,  and ensuring that successes in gender mainstreaming are shared and reproduced.

Facilitating Dialogue

  • Gender Equality Outreach - Raising awareness and engaging partners, stakeholders and local institutions to share knowledge and experiences and demonstrate best practices in gender equality and inclusiveness and engaging gender experts in national and global dialogue. 
  • Gender Equality and Human Rights - Bring a gender and human rights approach to climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts,  foster inclusive green growth initiatives  and ensure equal rights on clean air, water, energy and access to natural resources

Partnership for inclusive approach

Our Projects

Myanmar Gender Community Assessment

Understanding men's and women's roles strengthens resilience to climate change.

Myanmar is highly vulnerable to climate change and is placed second globally in terms of vulnerability from extreme weather events. As part of the Myanmar Climate Change Alliance Initiative, UN Environment and UN-Habitat are assisting the government to recognize the different adaptation perspectives of men and women through conducting gender vulnerability assessments in communities. This gender analysis has been central to informing the Myanmar Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2016-2030 and the Myanmar Climate Change Alliance’s climate resilience interventions. Read more

Myanmar is the second most vulnerable country in the world to damages from extreme weather, making it highly susceptible to the impact of climate change.

National Policy Support

Biodiversity conservation benefi­ts from integrating gender and biodiversity

Through capacity building on links between gender and biodiversity, provided by UN Environment, Lao PDR and Thailand developed specific actions to mainstream gender into the implementation of their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs). Read more

Women provide almost 80 percent of the total wild vegetable food collected in 135 different subsistence-based societies.

Our publications