2014 World Survey on the Role of Women in Development

Gender Equality and Sustainable Development

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Ensuring women’s economic empowerment and access to and control over resources requires an integrated approach to growth and development, focused on gender-responsive employment promotion and informed by the interdependency between economic and social development. Social objectives need to be incorporated into economic policies. Economic growth strategies should give attention to the real economy and focus on creating a gender-sensitive macroeconomic environment, full employment and decent work, access to land, property and other productive resources as well as financial services, and full coverage of social protection measures. The Survey outlines a number of concrete recommendations in these critical areas, which if adopted, will facilitate women’s equitable access to and control over economic and financial resources.



Investments for gender-responsive sustainable development

This chapter develops an agenda for sustainable development, with particular emphasis on local priorities, poverty eradication and gender equality. It extends the argument of the previous chapters that sustainable development should enhance the capabilities of women and girls, so they are able ?to lead the lives they value ? and have reason to value? (Sen, 1999). Capability is akin to freedom, meaning the freedom to lead a particular life as opposed to another. Because the capabilities framework emphasizes choice in addition to outcomes of well-being (Nussbaum, 2000), it is only indirectly linked to specific bundles of goods and services. Yet in order to deliver tangible improvements for women and girls, investments must be directed towards sectors from which they can benefit the most. The term ?investment? is used to denote financial, social and institutional efforts aimed at creating future benefits for humans and their environments. This chapter highlights four domains with a particularly strong potential to transform the lives of women and girls: domestic water, safe sanitation, clean(er) cookstoves and domestic electricity services. Expanding access to these goods and services can improve gender equality directly and specifically, because women suffer disproportionately from their absence (Antonopoulos and Hirway, 2010; Anenberg and others, 2013). There is ample evidence, for example, that the physical burden of food, fuel and water collection reduces women?s capabilities relative to their own potential and relative to those of men (e.g., Cecelski, 1984; Ray, 2007).


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