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Five ways to invest in women & girls in science for inclusive green growth

Responsible Business | Feb 11, 2019

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“Any society that fails to harness the energy and creativity of its women is at a huge disadvantage in the modern world.” – Tian Wei

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, celebrated on February 11th, is implemented by UNESCO and UN-Women, in collaboration institutions and civil society partners that aim to promote women and girls in science. The green economy is expected to create 60 million new jobs globally in the next twenty years, mainly in technology and infrastructure. With new skills and knowledge, more and more women will be able to use their scientific skills to protect the environment and push for a more sustainable planet.

Below you will find 5 ways to make women’s role in the green economy more inclusive:

1. Support policies for women’s active participation in the green economy

Photo credit: Unsplash

Women can play a crucial role in pushing the shift toward sustainable economic growth and green development if we allow them.

Without taking a gender perspective to green economy policies and practices, the barriers to women’s participation in the brown economy risk being perpetuated in the green economy. The agriculture, forestry and energy sectors will also be a major focus of the transition to green economy. Given their high participation in these sectors, women could use their knowledge of and dependency on natural resources to access green and decent job opportunities. Governments need to play an active role by supporting and implementing policy reforms and regulation changes to ensure a level playing field.

2. Women need equal rights to land

Photo credit: Pixabay

Protecting women’s full and equal rights to land, property and inheritance must be backed up by fair, legal measures.

Strengthening women’s land ownership security improves their rights and their dignity. Importantly, developing women’s access to and control over economic resources also has a positive effect on a host of development goals, including poverty reduction and economic growth.

3. Give women the opportunity to lead

Photo credit: Pexels

Traditional and persisting biases along with gender stereotypes discourages girls and women from entering science-related roles.

Going forward, we need to tap into the potential of all workers, giving women opportunities not just to earn, but also to lead on the global stage. The planet needs more female climate leaders, whether around the tables where policy is made or at the head of businesses, steering them toward sustainability. Studies show that without the active participation of women in decision-making and implementation, a project is less likely to achieve its economic and environmental objectives.

4. Actively recruit women into STEM courses

Photo credit: Pexels

Less than 30% of the world’s researchers are women.

With increasing demand for professionals trained in green sectors and sustainable business practices, women provide an untapped potential resource for continual green growth. Targeted public support can ensure that girls and women have equal opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education and training, leading to a more active role in research and development on environmentally sound innovations. We must ensure that all girls and women can set the pace for new innovations and help drive a truly sustainable and equitable alternative economy.

5. Greater access to the financial system

Photo credit: Pexels

Supporting gender-sensitive solutions to financial barriers can also help empower female entrepreneurs.

Micro-loans for women and similar credit methods are acknowledged globally as low-risk, with extremely high percentages of obligations met. Without this existing support system in place, women-owned businesses across the globe that aim to improve the sustainability of their value chain management are likely missing opportunities to have their business grow; and global businesses are missing the opportunity to expand the network of their global sustainable supply chain. The aim is to allow more women to access credit to invest in green technologies through innovative and inclusive finance.

On 26-27 March 2019, the Responsible Business Forum on Food and Agriculture will take place in Bangkok, Thailand and will bring together more than 400 leaders from companies, start-ups, investors and international agencies, to share and discuss innovation in value chains for food and security. More info here

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