Why is gender equality important for a sustainable tomorrow?
Sustainable business practices are being implemented globally as the rate of anthropogenic climate change increases. While some companies are incorporating ESG factors into their overall operations, several more ‘traditional’ companies are hesitant to be sustainable and, more crucially, to include certain elements of ESG into their business plans, notably that of equal female participation in the workplace.
Due to stereotypes, women have faced daily discrimination and been constantly marginalised at work, and initiatives to promote gender balance have languished for a very long time. Therefore, one can wonder how gender equality contributes to building a sustainable future and how it should be implemented?
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A Key to Climate Change Solutions
Women are significantly more affected by climate change than men are. A survey found that the majority of the poor people globally who are impacted by the climate crisis are women. They are more prone to experience gender-based violence linked to climate change since their livelihood depends on land and natural resources. Therefore, gender equality plays a crucial role in combating climate change and bringing about a climate change solution.
Women must have equal access to education and resources in order to participate in effective national decision-making policies and to further explore the effects of climate change on women in general. They can contribute to disaster reduction, climate change mitigation, and the development of policies for a sustainable future by using their knowledge of the challenges posed by climate change.
According to a United Nations estimate on women’s role in climate change, if all female smallholders had equal access to resources, farm yields globally would increase by 20 to 30 per cent, 100 to 150 million people would no longer be hungry, and improved farming techniques might reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2.1 gigatons by 2050.
A reduction in greenhouse gas emissions needs immediate action, and if economic performance can be improved while the burning of fossil fuels reduced in the key agricultural sector, this could improve land use efficiency and make visible change in developing countries in the short-term.
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Better Resources for Education and Livelihood
The education of girls is negatively impacted by climate change-related calamities like floods that cause loss of household income and damage to educational institutions. Such situations typically involve stopping a girl's schooling so she can assist with home duties and poor families seeking forced marriage at a young age to cut down on housing costs. Even worse, she might be left with little choice but to be pushed into domestic employment.
Climate change thus makes the gender pay gap even wider. The gap must be closed by giving girls access to fundamental education so they can take on the challenges that accompany the climate crisis. Research suggests that teaching girls can aid in the fight against climate change by first ensuring that they receive a fundamental formal education that will enable them to become independent and comprehend how climate change will affect their way of life and their health.
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Renewable Energy = Human Capital
Secondly, it promotes girls' climate leadership and environmentally conscious judgement. Through access to education and an expectation of equal treatment, women understand the risk associated with 'business as usual', with management, services, and a system that fosters discrimination and short-term profit rather than a commitment to a market shift that can produce benefits for a wider group of stakeholders.
The process with which we measure 'production' must now encompass other factors such as natural and human capital, so that the human activities harnessed to produce goods equitably are also respectful of the resources that go into their production. Women must be the equal policy makers of tomorrow to ensure this happens, the energy they bring is the true renewable resource at hand.
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Thirdly, it aids in the development of girls' green talents so they can pursue green careers. According to a report on girls’ education impact on climate change, by 2050 it is predicted that girls' education and family planning could prevent roughly 85 gigatons of carbon emissions. To put that number into perspective, we are currently putting around 40 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere each year.
Family planning has several positive effects on the health of mothers and their children, as well as on economic growth, gender equality, climate adaptation, and resilience. Access to education can result in better livelihoods, more favourable economic prospects, postponed marriage, and postponed childbearing. The promotion of sustainable consumption practices, the promotion of climate action, and the establishment of green jobs can all be aided by education, particularly education about climate change. Featured Article: The Importance of Gender Equality in the Workplace and its Effect on your Business
Equal Distribution of Power
In order to maintain an even distribution of power between men and women, gender equality is crucial. According to a report by International Labour Organisation (ILO), women and girls are responsible for more than 75% of all unpaid care and domestic work worldwide, contributing more than three times as much labour as men. In the event of a natural disaster, this figure will rise, adding not only unpaid household labour for women but also additional obligations for recovering communities.
This causes women to lose not only basic education but also creates an unequal distribution of power, further pushing them into poverty. A woman's physical, emotional, and overall health, as well as her employment chances, are all impacted by an unfair distribution of unpaid work. The country's economy, overall household income, and the economic empowerment of each individual woman will all benefit from equal distribution of household and unpaid work performed by both sexes.
This will encourage women to pursue paid employment. According to a UN study, increased productivity, greater economic diversification, and income equality are all benefits of women's economic empowerment. Achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development depends on empowering women in the workforce and eliminating gender disparities.
Key To Economic Growth
If we're going to make the transition to a sustainable environment, implementing equal gender empowerment shouldn't be a choice but rather a step that governments, businesses, and financial institutions must take. In addition to being a fundamental human right, gender equality is one of the most significant SDGs that must be accomplished by 2030. In order to do this, we must make sure that gender equality is applied at all levels.
Ensuring gender equity in all domains is achieved by giving girls access to formal education and a safe environment to do so. In order to make climate policies and treaties inclusive, it is also important to guarantee women have equal work prospects and compensation, as well as to include women in decision-making processes at the regional and international levels. This fundamental change is key to realising stable economic growth.
Getting rid of discriminatory laws, creating a safe workplace, and encouraging women to hold leadership positions will help businesses improve economic decision-making and create sustainable economies. It is crucial to understand that no society or country can flourish or transition towards a sustainable future when equal opportunities and resources are not provided to their women.
In many ways, inequality is the largest contributor to a general lack of climate progress. Overall emissions are based on a system that lacks commitment to change, and in order to develop a realistic approach to ultimately cutting emissions, we need businesses, industry, management and services to be designed from a fundamentally different perspective that values our world. Men have clearly failed to achieve this thus far and we risk everything if we base our notions of sustainable development solely from a single gender controlled view.
Women are a key asset to a country's economic and social progress, so in order to move to a sustainable world, we need to identify the key areas of discrimination, bring them into clear public discourse, and implement gender-equal norms, beginning today.
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