Gender Equality and Sustainable Development: A Pathways Approach

Authors/editor(s): Melissa Leach, Lyla Mehta and Preetha Prabhakaran, UN Women

The challenges of building pathways to sustainability and enhancing gender equality are both urgent. This paper explores why they must be addressed together, and how this might be done.

It begins by showing the moral, ethical and practical reasons why gender equality must be integral to sustainable development. Integrating gender equality with sustainable development requires profound conceptual understanding of both concepts and their interlinkages. Thus the paper puts forward a ‘gendered pathways approach’, as a conceptual framework for addressing the interactions, tensions and trade-offs between different dimensions of gender equality and of sustainability. Finally, the paper addresses the policy and political challenges of transforming pathways towards greater gender equality and sustainability.

This paper was produced for UN Women's flagship report the World Survey on the Role of Women in Development 2014: Gender and Sustainable Development. It is now also released as part of the UN Women discussion paper series.

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Bibliographic information

Subject area(s): Economic empowerment; Women’s rights; Human rights

Resource type: Discussion papers

Series: UN Women discussion paper series

UN Women office involved in publication: UN Women Headquarters

Publication year: 2016

Number of pages: 42

ISBN/ISSN: 978-1-63214-049-4

Publishing entities: United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)