Gender, inclusiveness and the SDGs


Environmental factors may affect men and women differently, due to different behaviours and roles they play in many societies as well as their different physiological characteristics. Whether one looks at energy, water, transport, urban design, agriculture, or consumption patterns a gender lens is key to understand differences in environmental impacts. For instance, women account for a large proportion of the more than 4 million deaths a year from in-door air pollution. Environmental degradation can also lead to increased gender-based violence. On the other hand, women’s economic, social and political empowerment can help accelerate action on climate, environmental protection and conservation.

The OECD works to support countries in integrating gender and inclusiveness aspects in the design and implementation of policies that provide better environmental, economic and social outcomes and improve well-being for all society, and to deliver on the Agenda 2030.

Data and evidence

Though case study evidence increasingly shows linkages between gender and the environment, data collection and indicators on the interlinkages are generally scarce both at national and global levels. In order to inform better policies to achieve the gender equality and environmental sustainability goals as enshrined in the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, the OECD is strengthening its efforts to identify data gaps and collect relevant data.

In addition to gender, the 2030 Agenda calls for further disaggregation, such as by income, geography, age and disability for targets to be adequately measured and ultimately met. The OECD has already identified three new indicators, which will be further developed with a gender component, specifically:

  1. mortality rates from air pollution, differentiated by pollutant, sex, country, year and age;
  2. development of green technologies, based on patenting activity, differentiated by domain, sex, country and year, and
  3. exposure to environmental risks, differentiated by pollutant and river flooding, sex, age.

Cover gender and environmental statistics

Brochure: Gender and environmental statistics:
Exploring available data and developing new evidence (PDF)

Cover Applying a gender lens on the SDGs: How are women and girls doing?

 Brochure: Applying a gender lens on the SDGs:
How are women and girls doing? (PDF)

Gender equality and sustainable infrastructure

Good quality and sustainable infrastructure that meets the needs of women, men, children, minorities, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups is essential for human well-being, economic growth and environmental sustainability. The OECD Knowledge Partnership for Sustainable and Inclusive Infrastructure initiative will foster evidence-based analysis of the interaction between sustainability and inclusiveness goals. It will provide a knowledge-sharing platform that connects government, business and civil society stakeholders engaged in accelerating progress towards these goals. The initiative was showcased in the Space for Solutions of the Paris Peace Forum in Paris on 11-13 November 2019.

The Policy Perspectives on Sustainable connectivity: Closing the gender gap in infrastructure shows how women and men may use infrastructure differently according to their needs, social roles or preferences. Building on OECD policy tools and several axes of work, it provides a framework to help countries align their infrastructure policies and projects with other societal and environmental goals, including supporting gender equality.

Sustainable connectivity

Policy Perspectives: Sustainable Connectivity:
Closing the Gender Gap in Infrastructure (PDF)

Watch the videeo: Closing the Gender Gap in Infrastructure

Forthcoming report: Gender and Environment


OECD related programmes and report



For more information, please contact of the OECD Environment Directorate.


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