Gender equality and women’s empowerment are globally recognised priorities, matters of fundamental human rights, and prerequisites for sustainable development. Understanding the gender-environment nexus is not only key to understanding social and environmental inequities and barriers to sustainable development, but to unlocking options for transformative action, as well.

Data gaps at this nexus, however, are persistent. Limited collection, dissemination and application of gender-environment statistics, including at national level, affects decision makers’ and practitioners’ knowledge and capacity to develop and adopt well-informed and effective policies and programming at all levels. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and UN Environment are collaborating to develop an enhanced understanding of and enabling environment for gender-environment statistics, particularly to identify specific indicators that can gather necessary information and strategies for national action as stakeholders work toward meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

To meet this objective, this report first considers the current landscape of data at the gender-environment nexus. This report then outlines the key issues and associated indicators used for tracking and analysing those issues, organized around four priority areas:

  1. Right to land, natural resources and biodiversity;
  2. Access to food, energy, water and sanitation;
  3. Climate change, sustainable production and consumption, and health and well-being; and
  4. Women in environmental decision making at all levels.

Enabling conditions are examined for gathering gender-environment data and information at national level, including as identified through action research conducted in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Kenya and Mexico. Drawing on gaps and opportunities identified in the current data landscape and the enabling conditions from action research, this report presents recommended gender-environment indicators, as well as for actions that should be taken by national statistical systems to enhance gender-environment statistics.


As this paper examines, collection and dissemination of national level gender-environment statistics offers an opportunity to shine a light on a set of interlinked issues that can either undermine or accelerate progress toward sustainable development. These statistics advance global understanding of gender gaps and help to tell a story of transformation— connecting the dots on how realising women’s rights and advancing gender equality unlock opportunities for more effective and equitable outcomes across the environmental and sustainable development sphere, and vice versa. They not only reinforce the importance of an intersectional approach, as the SDG framework aims to drive, but they give clues to strategies and actions required to operationalize that approach.


Publication Details
Publication place:
Nairobi, Kenya
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