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From the need of "equity" to the evidence of "difference" - Contributions of gender perspectives to the governance of the environment

Funded under: FP7-JRC


The paper focuses on the potential benefits of the introduction of gender perspectives on environmental governance practices, reflecting on two main approaches: �equity� and �difference�. In its �equity� form, gender studies assess social fairness of environmental problems and conflicts, and of political problem-solving initiatives. They show that men and women may be exposed to and influence the degradation of the environment in different ways. They help to identify population at risk because of environmental problems. They also show that the under-representation of women in environment-related political decision making may lead to unexpected side effects on females and to increased gender inequities. In its �difference� form, gender contributions point to gender tendencies in citizens� values, interests and views on the environment. Science feminism also leads to relevant considerations about gender biases related to the scientific framing of problems, the definition, collection and analysis of data, and to the epistemological and methodological roots of the research. Finally, the �difference� approach brings relevant insights to the assessment of participatory processes embedded in environmental decision-making practices.

Additional information

Authors: AGÜERA-CABO M, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for the Protection and the Security of the Citizen, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 22656 EN (2007), 30 pp. Free of charge
Availability: Katalogue Number: LB-NA-22656-EN-N The PDF version can be downloaded from:
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