How would environmentally sustainable development look if it was gender-sensitive? This report argues that much mainstream literature on environmentally sustainable development has ignored the gender dimensions. Where women have been the target of programmes, they have been seen as natural managers of environmental resources. A gender analysis is important because gender relations affect the ways in which poor men and women manage natural resources. Indeed, there are significant differences between women's and men's experience of poverty and environmental change due to gender inequalities in land ownership, the division of labour and decision-making powers. Effective natural resource management requires participatory approaches that take into account the different activities of household members and the impact of their different uses of natural resources on the environment. More detailed research is needed on the links between gender and environmental management.
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BRIDGE is a research and information programme located within IDS Knowledge Services. We are part of a global movement whose vision is a world where gender equality, dignity and social justice prevail, where poverty is eliminated and where human rights – including women’s rights - are realised.