The Global Gender and Environment Outlook (GGEO) report, published in May of 2016 at the United Nations Environment Assembly, constitutes the first assessment that provides a comprehensive overview about the interplay between gender and the environment.
Within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Development Agenda, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and strategic partners gathered together scientists, policy experts, gender advocates, and members of community groups with the intent of challenging the current critical issues embedded at the gender and environment nexus.
The GGEO not only addresses the importance of and reasons for linking gender and the environment, but focuses also on policy options and solutions-oriented responses in order to create more sustainable pathways for all.
With this aim in mind, the GGEO examines a wide range of topics: food production, water and sanitation, energy, sustainable consumption and production, fisheries and fishing communities, and forests. By expressing the necessity to acknowledge the dynamic relationships between gender equality and environmental issues, the GGEO not only adds women and girls into the scenario, but also recognises engendered social, political, and economic aspects of people’s relationships with the environment.
The ways that people interact with, and are affected by, the environment varies by gender, class, ethnicity, race, age, geographic location, disability, and other social categories. The GGEO reminds that — in order to take effective action on environmental assessment and decision-making — power relationships and context-specific social norms and gender roles must be analysed.
The UNU Gender Equality Studies and Training Programme (UNU-GEST) contributed to the formation of the assessment by hosting a GGEO expert meeting in February 2016, in Iceland. Three women associated with UNU-GEST also played important roles in the creation of the GGEO: Dr. Joni Seager, lead author of the GGEO, chairs the Global Studies Department at Bentley University and is a lecturer at UNU-GEST, where she has contributed for the past few years to the UNU-GEST module on Gender and Climate Change. Lilja Dóra Kolbeinsdóttir, a GGEO contributing author, is a Programme Director at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland´s country office in Mozambique; a former project manager at UNU-GEST, she formulated the aforementioned module. Dr Annadís Rúdolfsdóttir, one of the reviewers of the assessment, is an Associate Professor in Research Methodology at the School of Education, University of Iceland, and a former Academic Director of UNU-GEST.
See also the news story on the UNU-GEST website.