Gender and Social Inclusion

Poverty-Environment Initiative works to effectively mainstream gender equality and social inclusion into our work to address the structural causes of poverty and environmental degradation. The Initiative has stepped up efforts made in previous years to understand the level of awareness and existing capacity across Poverty-Environment Initiative countries in all regions. 

A clear picture of the challenge has emerged, pointing to low levels of awareness and inadequate structures and capacity. The scale of the challenge grows with the level of ambition, as in the case of the integration of gender equality in the context of the poverty-environment nexus in development plans and budget work.

Among the signal achievements, our efforts have contributed to governments assessing the responsiveness of climate related budgets to gender inequality and poverty. The results have raised the awareness and efforts are underway to better use existing performance-based budget systems to accelerate gender and poverty responsiveness and to improve cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder collaboration.


Achievements and Highlights

In 2016, the Poverty-Environment Initiative supported Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance to assess the responsiveness of climate related budgets to gender inequality and poverty. Public programs and activities identified as having high climate change relevance were assessed against the following criteria: access, participation, control and benefits. The assessment showed that central government ministries lack awareness and technical capacity to effectively integrate poverty and gender issues into climate change related programmes and activities. 

Collaborative research captured in The Cost of the Gender Gap in Agricultural Productivity in Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda report and follow-up by the Poverty-Environment Initiative, UN Women and the World Bank together with the Royal Norwegian Embassy were reflected in the strong focus on women’s empowerment and climate-smart agriculture in Malawi’s new national agriculture policy adopted in 2016. A series of follow-up “empowerment dialogues’ provided an important platform for the Poverty-Environment Initiative and UN Women to engage with civil society and other UN agencies on the gender and environment nexus based on the analysis in the reports. Findings of the reports were also highlighted in the UN Environment Global Gender and Environment Outlook
In Bhutan, the national Mainstreaming Reference Group now includes representatives from the National Commission for Women and Children. The Government is seeking their expertise to assist the implementation of the budget call notification for the financial year 2015–2016 on gender equality and women’s empowerment. Their integration into the group is helping to inform planning, budgeting and implementation processes at the central and local levels.

Mauritania has commissioned a study to assist the government in better integrating gender and social equity issues into environment and natural resources management in light of legal and customary practices limiting women’s access to land and environmental assets despite women’s high dependence on them. 

Myanmar has included differential impacts by gender in the ongoing integrated assessment on mining in two townships. 

In Nepal, the Poverty-Environment Initiative has been working closely with Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development to prepare pro-poor, environmentally sustainable green recovery and rehabilitation plans for target districts, ensuring that the needs and priorities of the most vulnerable were identified through consultative processes. 

In Peru, the Poverty-Environment Initiative conducted a Baseline Analysis on Gender-Environment Nexus Guidelines on Environmental Screening for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. The Climate Change Gender Action Plan approved in 2016 identifies solid waste management as a primary factor in controlling greenhouse gas emissions in the country. 

Rwanda has initiated capacity-building activities on gender and poverty-environment mainstreaming in policy, planning and budgeting linkages to increase the knowledge of policymakers in finance, local government, natural resources, environment, the Office of the Prime Minister and the Gender Monitoring Office.

In Tajikistan, we have worked to integrate a strong gender component into the training module on the Sustainable Development Goals that focuses on the linkages among women, the environment and poverty reduction.

Key Documents

A Review of Energy Policies in East and Southern Africa

The Cost of the Gender Gap in Agricultural Productivity in Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda (UN Women, UNDP-UN Environment Poverty-Environment Initiative and the World Bank, 2015)

Investment and Women’s Economic Empowerment – Lao PDR

Poverty and Social Impact Analysis of the Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agriculture Development, Botswana, 2012

Working Paper 2: Poverty & Social Impact Analysis of the Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agriculture Development, Botswana,2014

Overcoming Poverty in Malawi through Sustainable Environment and Natural Resource Management (ENRM), 2016

Policy Brief: Livelihoods in Malawi depend on the environment – there is a need to promote sustainability, 2016

Policy Brief: Policy coherence to reduce poverty through environmental and natural resource sustainability, Malawi, 2016

Policy Brief: Reducing poverty through macro-level investments in environmental sustainability, Malawi, 2016

Policy Brief: Environmental Management and Health in Malawi, What is the linkage? 2013

Gender-Environment and Natural Resources Data and Indicator Rapid Assessment in Malawi, 2014

Evaluation Environnementale Stratégique:Etude d’intégration des questions genre dans les processus de prise en compte des liens pauvreté – environnement pour la gestion rationnelle des ressources naturelles et environnementales au Mali, 2014

Evaluation Environnementale Stratégique Secteur De la Santé: Mali,

Assessment of the Economic, Social and Environment Benefits of the Rubaya Green Village in Gicumbi District in Rwanda and benefits of project replication 2017

Policy brief: Decreasing vulnerability, Rwanda, 2009

A Review of Land Tenure Policy Implications on Pastoralism in Tanzania, Tanzania, 2009

Miscellaneous Links

Gender Equality and the Environment: A Guide to UN Environment’s Work (UN Environment, 2016)

Gender Global and Environmental Outlook (UN Environment, 2016)

Peru Climate Change Gender Action Plan report (IUCN, 2015)

Inclusion Matters: The Foundation of Shared Prosperity (The World Bank, 2013)

Ralizing Human Rights Through Government Budgets (OHCHR & IBP 2017)