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Gender issues are not the same as women's issues. Understanding gender means understanding [the] 

opportunities, constraints and the impacts of change as they affect both men and women” World Bank


The need for gender equity cuts across all aspects of Sustainable Development. This paper depicts some of the on-going blocks to gender equity at global and regional levels. Touching on a vast array of issues: human rights and security; poverty; access to and management of resources; trade and finance; development; and health, it outlines some means to tackle these problems and proposes some key questions which need to be addressed by the Johannesburg Summit. A central theme to improving gender equity is the need to inspire and build a culture of partnership. Partnership not only between men and women but also between civil society and institutions, and between the local to global levels of policy making for sustainable development. 


Click for links to:

Briefing paper on Gender Equity and Sustainable Development - Pdf format

Briefing paper on Gender Equity and Sustainable Development - Rich text format

Annex - Rich text version

Other Resources

Click for links on the following...



Regional Groups



  • Commission on the Advancement of Women (1997) Gender Equity and the World Bank Group. Report by Women’s Eyes on the World Bank October 1997 http://www.interaction.org/caw/wewb4.htm

  • Engendering Development Through Equality Rights, Voice and Resources. The World Bank. Forthcoming (2001) Policy Research Report on Gender and Development. Washington, D.C.: The World Bank. Draft and background papers: www.worldbank.org/gender/prr

  • Poverty Reduction Strategies: a part for the poor? Report from the Institute for Development Studies (2001). http://www.ids.ac.uk/ids/publicat/briefs/brief13.html

  • Social Development / Copenhagen +5 http://www.earthsummit2002.org/wssd

  • SocialWatch is an NGO watchdog that monitors government commitments made at the World Summit for Social Development (WSSD) and the Beijing World Conference on Women to erase poverty and achieve gender equity. http://www.socwatch.org.uy 


  • Afghanistan - Training courses for youth. Peace Child International Project http://www.peacechild.org/bethechange/projects/proj_display.asp?id=50 

  • Education statistics from the World Bank http://www.worldbank.org/data/wdi2001/pdfs/tab2_14.pdf 

  • Educating girls: An Investment in the Future. Baha'i international Community http://www.bahai.org/article-1-7-6-9.html


  • ENERGIA is an international network on women and sustainable energy through information exchange, training, research, advocacy and action. http://www.energia.org/ 

  • Gender Perspectives For Earth Summit 2002 – Energy, Transport, Information for Decision Making. Report on the International Conference, Berlin, 2001. www.earthsummit2002.org/workshop

  • The Gender and Water Alliance. At the World Water Forum (The Hague, March 2000) many women’s organisations and gender experts agreed to continue working together to translate plans for gender mainstreaming in action. http://www.irc.nl/wwforum/pr_gender.html 

  • Women, Pesticides and Sustainable Agriculture Ransom, P. (2000) Women’s Environment and Development Organization http://www.unfpa.org/swp/2000/english/ch01.html

Food security

  • Gender and food security. Facts and figures. FAO http://www.fao.org/GEnder/en/labb2-e.htm 

  • Hunger Project, with 19 regional offices, the Hunger Project empowers women food farmers through local leadership, literacy, micro-business, credit and agro-training programmes. http://www.worldhunger.org 


  • Health and Environment: Pesticides http://www.earthsummit2002.org/wcaucus/Caucus%20Position%20Papers/agriculture/pestices1.htm

  • Gender and HIV: The facts about Women and HIV/AIDS published by UNAIDS http://www.unaids.org/fact_sheets/files/GenderFS_en.pdf  

  • HIV/AIDs info from UNIFEM http://www.unifem.undp.org/hiv_aids/ungass/

  • The HIV/AIDS Epidemic -An Inherent Gender Issue: http://www.thecommonwealth.org/gender/pdf/HIVAIDSLeaflet.pdf 

  • ICW, International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS. Information on issues and needs facing all women living with HIV, support groups, and key contacts in five regions of the world. http://www.icw.org 

  • IPPF, The International Planned Parenthood Federation links national autonomous Family Planning Associations (FPAs) in over 150 countries worldwide. http://www.ippf.org 

  • IWHC, International Women’s Health Coalition, is a nonprofit organisation working with individuals and groups in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to promote women’s reproductive and sexual health and rights. http://www.iwhc.org/whm.html 

Human rights and security

  • AI/WHRP, Amnesty International/Women’s Human Rights Program focuses on promoting women’s human rights within Amnesty’s mandate. In English and Spanish. http://amnestyusa.org/women/index.html#program 

  • Human Rights Initiative: A research project of the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs. Aims to provide a critical perspective of what happens when international human rights confront realities on the ground.

  • Human Rights Internet (HRI) founded in 1976 and is a world leader in the exchange of information within the worldwide human rights community. http://www.hri.ca 

  • Gender and humanitarian Assistance Resource kit. UNICEF/WFP initiative. http://www.reliefweb.int/library/GHARkit/ 

  • Windhoek Declaration: The Namibia Plan of Action On ‘Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective In Multidimensional Peace Support Operations’ http://www.reliefweb.int/library/GHARkit/FilesFeb2001/windhoek_declaration.htm 

  • Women’s Human Rights Net. (whrNET), in English, French and Spanishresources section at http://www.whrnet.org/resources.html 

International commitments   

Click here for further information on: International Agreements. Rich text file


  • The Huairou Commission for grassroots women leaders and their organisations to participate in local, regional, and international decision-making. http://www.huairou.org 

  • Multi-Stakeholder Processes for Governance and Sustainability. Beyond Deadlock and Conflict. Hemmati, M. (with Felix Dodds, Jasmin Enayati, and Jan McHarry) 2001 [in press] .London: Earthscan  http://www.earthsummit2002.org/msp  

  • International Women’s Tribune Centre (IWTC) supports the initiatives of women in the Global South (i.e. Africa, Asia/Pacific, Latin America/Caribbean, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Central Asia) to promote equitable and active participation of women in the development. Website: http://www.iwtc.org

Sustainable Development 

  • Agenda 21 Ch. 24 Global Action for Women Towards Sustainable and equitable Development http://www.un.org/esa/sustdev/agenda21chapter24.htm 

  • IISD Key Resources on Women and Sustainable Development at http://www.iised1.iisd.ca/women/read4.htm

  • The Stakeholder Toolkit for Women http://www.earthsummit2002.org/toolkits/women/index.htm  

Work and Economy

  • GENPROM an ILO global programme on " More and Better Jobs for Women", in response to the successful implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women. http://www.ilo.org/public/english/employment/gems/eeo/index.htm 

  • Home sweet home? Codes for home workers Tate, J (2001) http://www.id21.org/society/Insights36art9.html  

  • ILO Employment Sector dialogues http://www.ilo.org/public/english/dialogue/sector/sectors.htm

  • ILO conventions:

    • Training and promotion: Human Resources Development Convention, 1975 (No. 142) http://ilolex.ilo.ch:1567/scripts/convde.pl?C142 and Recommendation No. 150 http://ilolex.ilo.ch:1567/scripts/convde.pl?R150. 

    • Wages: Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100) http://ilolex.ilo.ch:1567/scripts/convde.pl?C100;

    • Family Rights: Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention, 1981 (No. 156) http://ilolex.ilo.ch:1567/scripts/convde.pl?C156

    • Maternity rights: Maternity Protection Convention (Revised), 1952 (No. 103) http://ilolex.ilo.ch:1567/scripts/convde.pl?C103;

    • Against discrimination in the work place: The Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111) http://ilolex.ilo.ch:1567/scripts/convde.pl?C111;

  • Review of Gender budget activities – Debbie Budlender, Community agency for Social Enquiry. International Budget Project http://www.internationalbudget.org/resources/library/GenderBudget.pdf  

  • WICEJ, Women’s International Coalition for Economic Justice, is an international coalition representing 32 organisations from all regions of the globe. http://www.wicej.org 

  • WWB, Women’s World Banking, is a women-led global network with the vision of providing economic access through credit to poor women. WWB network members currently provide micro-finance to over 10 million poor women. A network of over 50 affiliate organisations spreading over 40 countries provides women access to financing, information and markets. In English and Spanish. http://www.womensworldbanking.org 

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Academic Institutes and information resources

  • BRIDGE is a gender development organisation that supports gender mainstreaming efforts from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex (UK). http://www.ids.ac.uk/bridge/index.html 

  • The François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights: The first academic center to focus exclusively on health and human rights, the FXB Center combines the academic strengths of research and teaching with a strong commitment to service and advocacy.

  • IFUW, The International Federation of University Women, advocates to national governments and international organisations that education improves girls and women’s lives. http://www.ifuw.org 

  • Information Services, an online database of more than 325 women’s information centres and libraries that are open to the public. http://www.iiav.nl/eng/databases/mapping/index.html 

  • International Gender Studies Resources: This site offers general and specific bibliographies and filmographies on issues pertaining to women and gender in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Arab World, and among minority cultures in North America and Europe. Connected to the University of Berkeley.

  • Library of Women’s Issues Oriented Web Links http://women3rdworld.about.com 

  • WLP, Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace, is dedicated to empowering women to restructure their roles and to improve their status in their families, communities and societies. http://www.learningpartnership.org 



Faith Communities

  • Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC): Working in the Catholic social justice tradition, CFFC engages in research, policy analysis, education, and advocacy on issues of gender equality and reproductive health. http://www.cath4choice.org

  • Baha'i International Community. "The role of religion in promoting the advancement of women" http://www.bahai.org/article-1-9-2-10.html and "Toward the Goal of Full partnership: 150 years of the advancement of Women"   http://www.bahai.org/article-1-7-6-2.html 

  • World Vision International. Christian Emergency Relief and Long Term Development Charity. USA "Women of Vision" programme http://www.worldvision.org/worldvision/wvususfo.nsf/wov?OpenFrameset 

International agencies

  • UNAIDS: The Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS (UNICEF; UNDP; UNFPA, UNDCP, UNESCO, WHO, World Bank), www.unaids.org  

  • UNCHS: Habitats. Gender Policy http://www.unchs.org/documents/default.asp?documentid=5&articleid=144 and the Women and Habitat Programme http://www.unchs.org/unchs/english/women/womenbody.htm 

  • UNDP: UN Development Programme. Gender in Development http://www.undp.org/gender/ including a "Men's group for Gender Equality" http://www.undp.org/gender/programmes/men/men_ge.html 

  • UNICEF. UN Children's Fund. "Human Rights for Children and Women: How UNICEF helps make them a reality" http://www.unicef.org/pubsgen/humanrights-children/humanrightseng.pdf

  • UNIFEM: The United Nations Development Fund for Women, www.unifem.undp.org  

  • The World Bank http://www.worldbank.org 

  • WomenWatch: The United Nations Internet Gateway to the Advancement of Women, www.un.org/womenwatch

  • Gender Statistics from the World Bank: This site enables searching for general or specific information about indicators of health and economic well-being using gender-related factors.

Local Authorities

  • International Council of Local Environment Initiatives (ICLEI). Gender responsive Environmental Planning and Management. Interagency initiative with UNCHS/UNEP Sustainable Cities Programme http://www.iclei.org/iclei/unep.htm 


  • Aviva, An international women’s magazine, enabling women all over the world to network, and acting as a “host” site to women’s groups and services globally. http://www.aviva.org

  • IIAV, International Information Centre and Archives for the Women’s Movement. Mapping the World of Women’s Information Services, an online database of more than 325 women’s information centres and libraries that are open to the public. www.iiav.nl/eng/databases/mapping/index.html 

  • WomenAction, a global information, communication and media network on the Beijing+5 review process at www.womenaction.org

  • WFS, Women’s Feature Service, is a news-feature service that reports from 40 countries in all regions of the world. http://www.igc.org/wfs 

  • WINGS, Women’s International News Gathering Service is an independent radio production company producing and distributing news and current affairs programs by and about women around the world. http://www.wings.org 

Trade Unions

  • International Confederation of Free Trade U - Equality programme http://www.icftu.org/focus.asp?Issue=equality&Language=EN

  • IPU, Inter-Parliamentary Union, is the world organisation of parliaments of sovereign states, established in 1889. IPU’s website contains updated, and detailed analysis of women in politics. http://www.ipu.org  

Women's groups and NGOs

  • 50 Years is Enough: A coalition of 205 grassroots, faith-based, policy, women's, social and economic justice, youth, solidarity, labor, and development organizations dedicated to the profound transformation of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) http://www.50years.org 

  • Alternative Women in Development/NY (AltWID/NY): A working group who are seeking to incorporate gender, race and class to economic and social issues affecting women in the global North and South.

  • APC/WNSP, Women’s Networking Support Programme, provides information in research and evaluation, policy and advocacy, training, and online experiences of women. In English, French, and Spanish. http://www.gn.apc.org/apcwomen 

  • AWID, Association for Women in Development, is an international organisation committed to achieving gender equality, sustainable development and human rights for everyone. http://www.awid.org 

  • CEDPA, Centre for Development and Population Activities. The website provides information on training programs, workshops, and and women’s empowerment. http://www.cedpa.org

  • Center for Reproductive Law & Policy (CRLP): A legal organization dedicated to defending women’s rights to reproductive freedom around the world. http://www.crlp.org 

  • Center for Women’s Global Leadership: Develops and facilitates women’s leadership initiatives worldwide. http://www.cwgl.rutgers.edu 

  • CWGL, Center for Women’s Global Leadership, promoting the leadership of women and advance feminist perspectives. http://www.cwgl.rutgers.edu 

  • Development Group for Alternative Policies (Development GAP): Through its collaboration with citizens' organizations overseas, it works to ensure that the knowledge, priorities and efforts of the women and men of the South inform decisions made in the North about their economies and the environments in which they live. http://www.igc.apc.org/dgap/ 

  • ECPAT, End Child Prostitution, Pornography, and Trafficking, is a global network for the elimination of these practices and the protection of children’s rights. http://www.ecpat.org 

  • Equality Now: An international human rights organization dedicated to action for the civil, political, economic and social rights of girls and women. http://www.equalitynow.org  

  • Grassroots International: Provides financial and material support for community-led development in Brazil, Eritrea, Haiti, Mexico, and Palestine. http://www.grassrootsonline.org/ 

  • IGC Womensnet, providing information on women’s political activities. http://www.igc.org/igc/womensnet/ 

  • Madre - International Women's Human rights network http://www.madre.org/resources/wtc1.html 

  • Women's Caucus to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, www.earthsummit2002.org/wcaucus/csdngo.htm

  • Women’s Caucus for Gender Justice : The Caucus is a network of individuals and groups committed to strengthening advocacy for women's human rights and helping to develop greater capacity among women in the use of International Criminal Court, the Optional Protocol to CEDAW and other mechanisms that provide women access to different systems of justice. http://www.iccwomen.org 

  • Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO): An international organization working to increase women's visibility, roles and leadership nationally, regionally, and internationally. http://www.wedo.org

  • Women’s Human Rights Net: A partnership of women’s human rights organizations around the world; provides links to organizations and explanations of systems and strategies for women’s human rights work.

  • Women’s Net: Links to women’s organizations and posts regularly updated news announcements about women from the Institute for Global Communications, which links the on-line progressive community. http://www.whrnet.org/ 

  • Women Working Worldwide network http://www.poptel.org.uk/women-ww/the_www_network.htm 

  • WIDE - Network of Women's Development organisations in Europe http://www.iepala.es/wide/home.htm 


  • Peace child International. "Be the Change" projects http://www.peacechild.org/bethechange/ e.g. "Tapping of drinking water in rural Nepal" http://www.peacechild.org/bethechange/projects/proj_display.asp?id=39 

  • World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts enables girls and young women to develop their fullest potential as responsible citizens of the world. http://www.wagggsworld.org 

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Regional groups

Asia and Pacific:

  • UNIFEM East and South East Asia Web Site http://www.unifem-eseasia.org/Resources/GenderAids/genderaidstop.htm 

  • The Women Leaders’ Network (WLN), Promotion of gender perspectives into APEC (Asia Pacific Cooperation) http://www.bellanet.org/partners/wln/ 

Central Africa:

  • The African Gender Institute (AGI), South Africa, Furthering institutional change and women’s leadership at http://www.uct.ac.za/org/agi/  

  • FEMNET, Kenya, a network of African women’s organisation to monitor Beijing follow-up in development practice, at http://www.africaonline.co.ke/femnet/index.html 

  • Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN): A news source compiled by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs; provides news briefs for every region and nation in Africa. http://www.reliefweb.int/IRIN 

  • UNECA (UN Economic Commission for Africa) Strengthening African Networks on Gender and Development http://www.uneca.org/aknf2001/strength.htm 

Europe and North America:

  • The European Women’s Lobby the largest coordinating body of national and European non-governmental women's organisations in the European Union, with over 2,700 member associations in the 15 Member States. The EWL's goal is to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and to link political decision-makers and women's organisations at EU level. http://www.womenlobby.org 

  • Witness for Peace: A politically independent, grassroots organization that works to support peace, justice and sustainable economies in the Americas by changing US policies and corporate practices which contribute to poverty and oppression in Latin America and the Caribbean. http://www.witnessforpeace.org 

Latin America and the Caribbean:

  • ALAI, Agencia Latinoamericana de Información, Ecuador, Communication initiative for feminist movements in Latin America and the Caribbean Ecuador, http://www.ecuanex.apc.org./alai/comgenen.html 

  • Centro de Investigaciones Economicas y Politicas de Accion Comunitaria (CIEPAC): Provides news updates and activist information about Chiapas.

  • Center for Cuban Studies: Dedicated to providing information and activities relating to contemporary Cuba and contributing to a normalization of relations between Cuba and the U.S.

  • Cuba Solidarity web links: An extensive list of sites dedicated to partnerships with Cuba and anti-embargo work.

  • Enlace Civil: Provides news updates and activist information about Chiapas.

  • Latin America Net: Links the on-line progressive community working on issues related to Latin America and posts news updates and event information.

  • Latin America Working Group (LAWG): A coalition of over 65 religious, human-rights, grassroots, foreign-policy, research, peace and development organizations committed to just and humane US policy toward Latin America. LAWG maintains an email network of people interested in promoting change in US/Cuba policy.

  • Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA): Works to provide moral and material support to grassroots movements; reorient US policy towards Guatemala; build support in the United States for the ongoing peace negotiations to end Guatemala's civil war; and educate the US public about the current situation in Guatemala.

  • Network of NGOs of Trinidad & Tobago for the Advancement of Women (Commonwealth Women's Network) http://www.community.wow.net/womenngo

  • Partners in Health: A nonprofit corporation that works with community-based organizations to improve the well-being of people struggling against poverty; assists partner projects in Haiti, Peru, Mexico, and the United States.

  • URACCAN: MADRE’s sister organization in Nicaragua

  • ECLAC (UN Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean). Gender indicators project http://www.eclac.cl/publicaciones/unidadmujer/6/lcl1186/lcl1186i.pdf 

  • The Washington Office on Haiti (WOH): Supports democracy, human rights and self-determined development through public education, information and analysis, particularly in terms of the effects of U.S. policy on the Haitian poor.

  • Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA): Facilitates dialogue between governments and NGO’s, monitors the impact of policies and programs of governments and international organizations, and promotes alternatives through reporting, education, training, and advocacy. 

 Middle East:

  • Badil Resource Center: A Palestinian NGO that serves as a resource center for Palestinian residency and refugee rights.

  • B’Tselem: The Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories: Endeavors to document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations in the Occupied Territories. 

  • Ibdaa: MADRE's partner organization in Palestine.

  • Land and Water Establishment for Legal Studies and Services (LAWE): A human rights and environmental law firm that provides free legal services to those in need in the West Bank and Gaza 

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This paper was funded with the kind support of 

 Heinrich Boell Foundation

Rosenthaler Str. 40/41   .   D-10178 Berlin   .  Germany

Web: http://www.worldsummit2002.org   .   Email: haas@boell.de


Last amended December 2001. 

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