Front Cover
 Back Cover

Group Title: Gender and the environment : : crosscutting issues in sustainable development.
Title: Gender and the environment
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00086656/00001
 Material Information
Title: Gender and the environment crosscutting issues in sustainable development
Physical Description: 11 p. : ill. ;
Language: English
Creator: United States -- Agency for International Development. -- Office of Women in Development
Publisher: USAID/WID
Place of Publication: Washington D.C
Publication Date: 1993
Subject: Natural resources -- Management -- Women   ( lcsh )
Sustainable development -- Social aspects -- Developing countries   ( lcsh )
Women in rural development -- Developing countries   ( lcsh )
Resource management -- Women   ( ltcsh )
Rural development projects -- Developing countries   ( lcsh )
Technical assistance, U.S -- Developing countries   ( ltcsh )
Rural women -- Developing countries   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
General Note: Cover title.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00086656
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 34148464

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Back Cover
        Page 12
Full Text

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Over the past few decades, planet
earth has become a global -. ill,-.
Both developed and developing
nations are more interdependent eco-
nomically and environmentally than
ever before.
The U.S. Agency for International
Development (USAID) helps deliver
the benefits of economic and social
development to people in more than
90 nations in the developing world,
in Central and Eastern Euilrpe and
the newly independent countries of
the former Soviet Union. Sound eco-
nomic development depends on
maintaining a quality environment
and on the conservation and wise
management of natural resources.
Environmental problems, such as
urban and industrial pollution, loss
of tropical rainforest, and destruction
of semi-arid rangeland, require the
unprecedented cooperation and col-
lective action of all nations. Sustain-
able development-balancing the use
of natural resources with resource
conservation-is at the heart of all
USAID development programs.
By the early 1970s, development
efforts had revealed that in most
developing countries, women clttcr-il
from men in their access to and con-
trol over resources, stakes in develop-
ment outcomes, and responses to
incentives. USAID's Office of
Women in Development (WID) was
established in 1974 to provide
intellectual leadership and support
for the ageni ."s efforts to integrate
women into the national economies
of developing countries, thus improv-
ing their status and assisting the total
development effort.

Smce its creation, WID s e torts
have evolved from their initial focus


A, thom nmot mpowible for preparig food,
women bare a ,ital interest in preserving
e.tltil ib ar) reo, uneL. Women played an
unportznt role in a recent program to conerve
conch iu conch habitat in the Caribbeam.

on women to a broader inclusion of
the gender variable as a crosscutting
issue in sustainable development.
Today. WID emphasizes gender-
d -.,__ ie-'.,lI l data collection as one
method of assuring that both women
and men are properly factored into
programs and projects. This allows
the design, implementation, monitor-
ing and evaluation of projects to pro-
ceed Aith a clear sense of the people
striving for and L'tin; affected by
economic development.
\omrnen must be -. ilenrii. I.

included as actors, producers, and
agents of development in all sectors,

On the coser:
Wm, nu raner urken' in ai ur Indiha
AI nmtni cualtutm, uomen often haiv rpmonbilidy
Ioarr ,ny nd lnriiItIbq o nf t n il.

Pat Dart, USDA tre.tiry Piqvram


In traditional societies, such as this Musor
hiltribe village in Northern Thailand,
women help manage the sutainable extraction
of needed product from the nearby forest

not just those traditionally thought of
as "women's concerns," such as
health, nutrition, and population
control. Failure to include the gender
variable is one of the major causes of
negative outcomes in development
work within such mainline sectors as
agriculture and private enterprise.
For example, if women are heavily
engaged in agricultural production,
but their access to input, credit, land,
and markets is more limited than the
access for men, then the development
project is simply starting from a
weak data base, and the odds of
project failure are increased.
WID is committed to understand-
ing the roles that men and women
play in their communities and to

incorporating those roles into all
phases of development projects.
Three of the most important roles
women play in virtually all societies
are natural resource managers,
community-based organizers, and
educators and transmitters of cultural
and social values to the next

Women as Managers of
Many Natural Resources
Poverty and environmental degra-
dation are strongly linked. Whether
in a rural or urban setting, adverse
environmental changes, such as the
loss of forest cover, pollution of
drinking water, and upland soil ero-
sion, often affect women and children

M - - -

disproportionately. Women draw
water, gather firewood, tend flocks
and provide them with fodder,
manage household gardens, and
farm on some of the least desirable
local lands.
Many of these tasks are under-
taken within a complex set of social
and cultural obligations, rights, and
responsibilities, some of which may
be unique to women. For example,
the right to use communal pasture-
land or to harvest certain products in
the forest may be a combination of
inherited rights coupled with usage
(not using the land for a certain
period of time opens it up for others,
who then establish rights of their
In a growing number of develop-
ing countries, men migrate seasonally
to find work in the cash economy.
Women are left behind to take over
the traditional male tasks of plr.. inc.
planting, irrigation, and harvesting
the major food crops, while they
continue to manage the traditional
female responsibilities.
Providing cooking fuel is a major
problem for both rural and urban
women. Since firewood is usually the
fuel of choice, destruction of forests
means that women have to walk and
carry loads farther to supply their
families. These extra hours are taken
out of the time they must spend on
their many other chores, such as
preparing food and raising crops.
In urban areas, firewood is often
brought in by truck from distant
forests, and the transportation cost is
rolled into the fuel price. Poor urban
families can spend 25 percent or
more of their income buying fire-
wood or charcoal from vendors. To

save on fuel, women reduce cooking
time or do not bring water to a bo;I.
thus increasing the risk of water-
borne diseases.
In many societies, women are
responsible for raising and selling
small livestock, such as chicken,
goats and sheep, which provide
much of the women's cash income.
The herds' size and health are deter-
mined by the availability of good
pasture and fodder. When pastures
have been damaged or overgrazed,
women must travel in search of fod-
der and grass to cut and carry back
to the animals. Often, they are

As part of maed farming system, women
play an important role in .mall animal
pruction n n many part, of the wor&
A woman extel.,i a gent works wuh a goat
milk p,nir ction ef',rt as part of an A.I.D.-
spon.,m) frmrd ain ytm project in Mali

__________________________________ __________ ________________________________________

Women are often effective as change agents in
involving other women in their communities.
Here, community outreach taff from the
AID-sponsored Sudan Renewable Energy Projet
discuss plan for dseminating efficient
fuelwood cookstoved.

forced to decrease their herds, thus
reducing their one reliable source of
Gathering water for drinking,
cooking, and washing is a traditional
task for women and girls in many
developing societies. When local
water sources are polluted, women
may be forced to walk great dis-
tances to find safe water, carrying
back heavy loads.
In the agricultural sector, women
provide a substantial portion of labor
on family fields. They also may have
their own separate fields and
gardens, which in many cases are
small, difficult to reach, less produc-
tive than the main fields, and first hit
by environmental problems.

Women as CoImunity Organizers
An often unrecognized but vital
role that women play in many cul-
tures is that of community organizer.
In some societies, women already
have formed voluntary groups for
social, religious, or economic
Development activities that require
common property management-
protecting a watershed, cleaning and
upkeep of irrigation canals, rotating
use of a pasture, protecting the
hygiene of an urban handpump-
also require cooperation, a shared set
of values, and commitment. The
collection and management of funds
for operation, maintenance, spare
parts, and hired labor also may be

. ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ... i i

labor also may be necessary.
Some existing women's groups
may have mastered these skills and
can serve as the basis for develop-
ment projects that need to accom-
plish many of the same management

Wem as Educators d
Tpmulitters of Ciltral Vales
Children usually learn from their
mothers how to wash their hands
before handling food or to boil water
before making tea. To become part
of the social fabric, new concepts,
such as protecting and managing a
common property resource, also
must be taught and internalized as a
community value.
For example, in a community
reforested with fast-growing tree
species, young trees have to be pro-
tected from goats, who would
quickly strip them of vegetation.
Young boys and girls, who tradition-
ally mind the goat herds, must be
taught to accept responsibility for
keeping the goats away from the
saplings for five years or more, until
they are big enough to withstand the
goats. Educating the children prob-
ably would fall to the village
women-provided that they have
been involved in the planning of the
project, will be beneficiaries, and are
committed to seeing it succeed.

What UWAID Is Doig alut
Gender the Envbilmient
Environmental concerns and gen-
der issues cannot be considered sep-
arate from, or even separate compo-
nents of, development projects. They
must be seen as central strands
woven into the very fabric of project

design and implementation.
The Office of Women in Develop-
ment works with other USAID
o;:.:, and field missions to integrate
gender issues into each of the five
areas of USAID's environmental
strategy: tropical forests and biologi-
cal diversity; urban and industrial
pollution; coastal zones and other
water resources; environmental
impacts of energy use; and sustain-
able agriculture.

-a A
Wmena tra admit cultural value to chidirn in
ibOate2 commnuniti,, such as thbi Karn tribe
ui Northern Thailand Refotrstatin and
habitat protection prowranm may requre
snlq-term conuUoddy consensus over a
nun2kr of generatmis.

-------------- MR-REVERNMERVER 111 11__

Taking Advantage of an
Unexpected Opportunity

Several years ago, the Pakistan Forestry Institute, which
traditionally had barred admission to women, inad-
vertently admitted female Ethiopian student, having
mistaken her name forthat of a male. USAID used that
opportunity to obtain the Institute's agreementto admit
women, then provided funding for scholarships and
d,:,rmtlor, I ai: Ili', for them.
Four women graduated from the Institute in 1989
and two more in 1990. The Institutes goal now is to
have women constitute 20 percent of its graduating
USAID also encourages the District Forestry
Services to hire women foresters. The wording of job
announcements has been changed from "any inter-
ested men should apply" to "any interested men or
women should apply."

Sustaiable forest conservation and forest
product processing require skilled and
committed workers. Here, women weed and
tend tree seedlings in a nursery in Baif India.

Tropical Forests and
Biological Diversity
Tropical forests are crucial for
sustaining human life and liveli-
hood. They contain more than half
of the world's animals and plants,
providing food, fuel, building
materials, pharmaceuticals, and
genetic resources for the develop-
ment of new and disease-resistant
crops. They also serve as a vital
storage place for carbon, helping to
mitigate the threat of global climate
changes. Yet, as population and
economic pressures grow, the
world's tropical forests are vanish-
ing at the fastest rate in history.
More than half have been lost since
the turn of the century.
USAID's goals in this area are to
help countries reduce deforestation;
conserve remaining natural forest
areas, wildlands, and biological
diversity; and derive sustainable

economic growth from these
resources. Women play a critical,
primary role in forest management.
They deplete the forest for fuel-
wood, harvest it for extractive
products, and are actively involved
in conserving the forests in many
Small and micro-enterprise
development for processing forest
products usually relies heavily, if
not entirely, on women's labor. And
women often are responsible for
subsistence farming in forest-
dweller households.
Over time, women develop exten-
sive knowledge of forest composi-
tion, extraction potential, and
management, becoming the primary
agents of forest product transforma-
tion. It is critical that their part in
conservation and the use of biologi-
cal diversity be recognized and
acted upon.

1b1 uad Wl olmtlU Peftius
Within the next 30 years, more
than 60 percent of the world's
population is expected to live in
cities, as people continue to migrate
to urban areas in search of employ-
ment and a better life. Cities in the
developing world are ill-equipped
to manage this growth, despite
increased investments in the basic
facilities that countries need to
Delivery of needed services has
actually% declined since the 1970s.
During the last decade alone, urban
populations without water supply
grew by some 31 million, and those
without sanitation increased by 85
million. In the developing world,
30-50 percent of solid wastes
remain uncollected. Most industries
rarely treat industrial waste and
frequently dispose of toxic waste in
the nearest body of water. The
result is widespread environmental
degradation that threatens both
human health and economic
growth. USAID's goals are to help
developing countries establish effec-
tive pollution controls to ensure
clean air and water and to protect
public health.
In urban households, like those
in rural areas, women are prindri...
responsible for food, water, and
household sanitation. They and
their children may be particularly
vulnerable to lack ,o ambient air in
living spaces and critically affected
by pollutants in household water
Understanding these and other
health-related factors requires that
inventories of household sources of
pollution include information about

P,, turm'ro) to urban uveJ arntnbumo
t4.7r Y 'I Of ojd&itiudtf'rsltl in many qf1 th
pjwm t pkYPLg coantzncs. Paying/or fiiruiod Kuya:
Vi 42 ounln )man "iaryowr urban faui&ei Lied urn. Dec.. P't sitU. Debum.
HerrW tne o',t numay fun wd ,ale., cenk in I s hoev WNtW Pift ad IUs"1.
Atbim.1 ine ApaL i-li 'pibA by uvien "f

n,'kaig b.'cbniquei 2nd neui -e,_ ?, 4we,
C411 be4' ,&,,. tk I n',eoot/) demamin

task ..ilo. .i Inr, Assessments of
human impact must be disag-
gr-.-..,i d by gender and age. In
addition, the development of host
country capacity to identify and
address critical environmental
health problems depends on the
provision of technical assistance
and training to both men and

Ecologi, Communit Organization, and Gender
fE .G -G r., a project supported by WID, studies the
d v sior of abor between men and women, heir par
" : d.a ,:o.,r -,. -, ,liilul ,ioni ittai ,e.i ,iir. nal.
urai resource management, and resource use and
l -, -' : ,** :.-,:' anECCGEN Irear :.'.rei, .itr
:. e.:'i frorr Kenya's National Environmental
Secretarat to condLct a case study in ire South
Nyanz a strict in western Kenya. The team discov-
ered severe sani ary, nutrition, and health problems
.:. e I r,-.o : 'r,- poor quajil, jof .aler Diarrhea
and dehydration among children were chief among
' -e .i problems.
The e. ., :ai e rr3 i-e ties: o.a, lr1 3,ajr:e' irie
problem was to educate and emipoer Ihe district's
,,ome c:e 1 : : e r re& iponiun ,lii i to lrijnarlelhe
.ater and care for the sck. ',Va rre e. :i,men ia,: edb
v.as tfe ; :..e: that Tr i'j water is linked to
c disease.
ECC, r. .:. : ''pit- u irlC EFto send profes-
s onals to "-e tc train V.omen ris nealri workers
' 3 o :-, r .- : : '*.: ,i r,:ux, rnr ,,s :ier.',-,.,r l the
ink be-ween ocean water, sanitation and health. Thanks
-.,r,: :, ,:r EC ) I El- E i'l .1 i t.1 FF, .m ,Tien rin ll
participate in community dncsicrn.mja. ing 3bout these

. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

Reducing Defrestation in the
Amazon Basi

Deforestation accounts for as much as 85 percent of
Brazil's current carbon dioxide emissions. OnCe 'ri Ir
strategic objectives of USAID's Global Climate Change
(GCC) Program is to reduce deforestation in the
Br izili i A rnia ori ty pr,-.' oimong a.I 3 atl -ille na- l ei..e v,
deforestation, establishing sound policies, and build-
ing a constituency in local communities. In the Brazil-
ianAm.azon all. r i.jTie lore'1 u ,e .and Tfmr.Cemenl
pi ctce, rely heavily on women's knowledge, skills,
and labor.
AWID project-Gender in Economic and Social Sys-
teITi-'GENJES'S)-) or i, direc-iy wilh m.4:.l:,ni3n rr,
governmental organizations (NGOs) to apply
socioeconomic considerations, including gender, in
rh edeSigrl imnplenSerion 3rndeil lijAiuion'.l i.liirn-
able projects throughout the Amazon Basin. Training
of NGO personnel focuses on the design, collection,
and analysis of socioeconomic baseline and monitor-
ing data. Re-e.r:cr ic 'l. rii E ir: eC gried io Ileniii,
marketing opportunities for non-timber forest products,
such as tropical fruits.

AID programs for asisting local communities
to build and operate protected drinking water
systenm, such as this one in the Dominican
Republic, often rely on local women to
maintain the handpumps and collect usr fees
from families in the community to pay for
spare parts.

Coastal Zones and
Other Water Resources
Coastal areas already contain
more than 85 percent of the world's
people and are projected to have
the greatest population growth over
the next 20 years. Coastal zones are
vital centers of tourism and trans-
portation, as well as industry, fish-
ing, and agriculture. Economic
development in many countries
depends largely on how coastal
areas are used and managed. Yet
these fragile, biologically productive
areas are being rapidly degraded.
In the Philippines, for example,
70-90 percent of coastal wetlands
have been destroyed or severely
USAID's goal in this area is to
strengthen the ability of developing
countries to carry out integrated
coastal resource management pro-
grams, addressing the environmen-
tal, social, cultural, and institutional
factors involved in conserving and
using coastal resources for eco-
nomic development.

Women use marine resources for
food and cash products. Fish
products, coral, shells, and sponges
are sold to tourists. Women also
make and repair nets and traps in
many areas. Their role is important
in developing new techniques for
small-scale fishing, marketing new
or alternative varieties of species,
and conserving resources.
Both women and men living in
watershed areas are stakeholders in
the process of increasing the quality
and quantity of usable water on a
sustainable basis. Their stakes may
differ in some instances because of
gender responsibilities, which must
be considered and incorporated into
the planning of assessments,
monitoring, field trials, and technol-
ogy. Training and technical
assistance also must include both
men and women to maximize the
sustainability of intervention



Envbimutal hIpacts of
Eergy Uh
Developing countries typically
lack sufficient capital to meet their
rapidly growing energy needs from
environmentally sound sources.
Older facilities often are inefficient
and generally lack pollution control
devices. Thus, many current energy
development programs contribute to
environmental degradation.
To help countries provide energy
services that are environmentally
sound, USAID's goals are to
increase energy efficiency and con- o a
servation and to encourage the use .
". .' i "C "' l, : E y :
of renewable energy sources. ..
Minimizing the reliance on fossil
fuels, such as coal, in the household .
environment will rely almost
entirely on providing affordable .-
fuel alternatives for women. r4> -er-
Marketing in the rural areas for r.",; .. ,
renewable commercial technologies
also will have to plan specifically to
respond to the needs of both male
and female consumers.

Gatherb ,of t/Wi wo bfor wakin b a
minyar dknand on the lime of uomen and
chidtrn ib many eehpt~r countrij,
mrubfig tIwrn acaidable fr icnwome geeinting MIlwi:
actiiie', or education. In part of Southern Wmue Leoa to Repair ad
At iya and buIin, women can opoetu) up to Tul VilaP Pp
iur bta-.rs a day collecting cookiby fiue,.
Ten years of e :e t, 're Water and Sanitation
.- -,',.- : i,-, ,::ur, Ier,; i3 lhe n,,:,e-
ment cf women n project planning and implementa-
10 jS,1311ii I4 3, -,loI,,.,g le.frr,
o a benefits.
inMalawi...: -e- ;re ,en rinr e t, '-eo.ern.
menrt t e IIj- e '. i :are3 er: 3~and repair tech-
r cans. : : be n icir.luding iher,
n .,, ; .pipe-repair teams. Women caretakers and
-., e :, : F,- j I, .El-irth. ,0'Ti ffuril, ,e3r
rauno e who must occasionally go to ire
cites n search of paid e- cl., e-,'


Cent l America:
Case Studies Reval Probes with
AgPIculltu l Practces-and Sim Solutlons

WID's GENESYS Project has compiled case studies
that show how women in Central America have been
adversely affected by .sme agricullural practices-
and how women have become partof innovative solu-
tions to some agricultural problems.
For example, in many parts of Central America,
agricultural commercialization appears to have
adversely affected farming communities and espe-
cially farm women. In Guatemala, when small farms
shifted to growing profitable vegetable crops for export,
women panic ipaiirn in unpaid field wolr inc reased
dramatically. Added time for agricultural work was
robbed from other income-earning activities. As a
result, aomen icitr mIu hi f ihe r ecorijn'ic independ.
ence, since income from the new vegetable enterprises
was generally controlled by men (ICRW 1987, von
Braun 1989).
In Belize, as sugarcane production was commer-
cialized in the 1970s, production of food crops and
small livestock declined, and families had to rely
increasingly on purchased food. Cash from sugar-
cane, which was in the hands of men, was usually
inadequate to meetfamily needs. As women lost con-
trol of food distribution, they became completely
dependent on men (Nash 1983, Waring 1988).
However, women have become involved in non-
-raliiii:inal or expanded areas of natural resource
management, or both, as they find new ways to meet
their needs. For example, a project in El Salvador
helped women to expand their home gardens and to
plant soybeans as a means of supplementing the
family diet, while also conserving and restoring soil
and soil fertility (Solis and Trejos 1990).
In one Honduran project, women overcame men's
skepticism about terracing and reforestation and were
able to secure the necessary land from men. The
women succeeded not only wiih lerra:ces and trees;
they also were able to grow and marketseveral vegeta-
ble crops (Rodda 1991).
International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) 1987 Women and
Export Manufacturing: A Review of the Issues and AID Policy
Washington, DC.: ICRW
Nash, June 1983. "Implications of Technological Change for Household
Level and Rural Development" Working Paper #37 East Lansing'
Office of Women and Development, Michigan Stale University.
Solis, Vvienne and Marta Trejos. 1990 'Women and Sustainable Develop-
ment in Central America." San Jose, Costa Rica: ORCA (regional office
of the IUCN).
von Braun, Joachim. 1989. "Effects of New Export Crops in Smallholder
Agriculture on Division of Labor and Child Nutritional Statistics in
Guatemala." In: Joanne Leslie and Michael Paolisso, eds., Women's
Work and Child Welfare in the Third World AAAS Selected Symposium 10.
Boulder: Westview Press.
Waring, Marilyn. 1988 If Women Counted: A New Feminist Economics.
New York Harper and Row, Publishers.

Agricultural mieatrb must involve women
farmers if they are to be reached wiab new
technooqy. This woman i barvesting peanut
bi Mali as part of on-farm fertilizer trials.

Sustainable Agriculture
Agriculture is a critical compo-
nent of the economy in almost all
developing countries, providing
food, fuel, employment, and income
for most of the people. But unsound
and shortsighted agricultural prac-
tices lead to reduced productivity
and environmental degradation.
Destruction of forests and inappro-
priate use of crop and rangelands
contribute to soil erosion. Pesticide
and fertilizer overuse adds to pollu-
tion of surface and groundwater.

USAID tries to help countries
meet their needs for food and
income with environmentally sus-
tainable agricultural practices.
Since women make up more than
40 percent of the world's agricul-
tural labor force and grow at least
50 percent of the world's food, they
as well as men must be involved as
collaborators and recipients of tech-
nology information if sustainable
agricultural systems are to be devel-
oped and maintained.

I_______________________ ____________________________ ____ _________________________ R______~_________ __________ _________________________


OIi ce of Women in Development
Agency for International Development
Room 714 SA-18
Washington, DC 20523-1816
Telephone: 703-875-4668

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