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Gender and the sound management of chemicals and waste

“Gender mainstreaming” is defined as a strategy for making both men and women’s concerns and experiences an integral part of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres.

In practice, gender mainstreaming supports the contribution of men and women to society equally, through policies and programmes that address their specific needs. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda aim to address inequalities among all population groups, especially women, children, and the impoverished. Directly addressing the links between the environment and gender in the context of the SDGs will provide new opportunities to achieve these goals in a more sustainable and beneficial manner.

SDG 5, a component of the Sustainable Development Goals on the 2030 agenda, aims to achieve gender equality and improve women’s rights.

The varied roles of men and women in society shape their exposure to chemicals, and so the gender dimensions of the sound management of chemicals and waste are highly relevant. Exposure to chemicals depends on geographical location, behavioural patterns, age, nutritional status, and other biological factors.

Gender mainstreaming across high priority development areas provides benefits for both men and women through the creation of strategic opportunities and improved focus of operations. Identifying these strategic opportunities – such as promoting secure and safe working conditions – can yield tangible results.