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From 1972 to the present, women’s rights within environmental law

From 1972 to the present, women’s rights within environmental law

Womens rights in environmental law

The seeds for the growth and development of the industry were planted at the 1972 Stockholm Conference. Transnational environmental lawWith states negotiating commitments to a healthy environment and introducing new concepts like ecocide. The Stockholm Declaration is often called a Magna Carta for environment protection. However, while it was progressive and innovative at that time, it did not explicitly mention women, girls, or gender. Instead, women and girls were included in the category of men, as demonstrated in Principle 1 of this Declaration. Stockholm DeclarationFor example:

The fundamental human right to freedom, equality, and adequate living conditions is guaranteed to all men in a healthy and happy environment. He The environment is our solemn responsibility. (emphasis added).

Women had agency in the drafting of the declaration. His Indian counterpart was the only head government present at the Stockholm Conference other than Olof Palme, the Swedish Prime Minister. Indira Gandhi. She delivered a powerful speech in support of developing countries.

The conference also paved the way to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Rio DeclarationThe declaration, which was the first international instrument to explicitly recognize the twin realities that women are particularly vulnerable to environmental degradation and are agents of change, was the first international environmental instrument. Principle 20 of this declaration states, for example, that women play a leading part in environmental management as well as in development. If sustainable development is to be realized, it is essential that they participate fully.

Three United Nations conventions were adopted at the Rio Earth Summit. Two of them, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the Convention to Combat Desertification(UNCCD), explicitly refer to the need to fully include women.

Womens rights in environmental law
(Illustration: Herlinde Demaerel / China Dialogue)

The global south’s women played a key role in pushing this agenda forward: Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against WomenThe Philippines senator was the first to prepare the UN Commission on the Status of Women’s Final Report in 1979. This document is the culmination of over 30 years of work. Letitia Ramos-Shahani. This convention recognizes the important role that rural women play in the economic survival and well-being of their families (Article 14,) and that these activities are largely based upon ecosystems. Six years later, the 1985 UN Women’s Conference in NairobiOne of the first international forums to emphasize the importance of gender equality for sustainable development was this one.

1992 China hosted an interregional UN workshop about the role of womenSustainable and environmentally sound development. The following is the report of that event:

The women of China are willing to work with other women around the world to make the planet Earth greener, more peaceful, and more prosperous.

International participants were encouraged and encouraged to attend 1995 Beijing Fourth World Womens ConferenceThe forum hosted over 17,000 participants from 189 countries and another 30,000 at a parallel event. The platform that resulted specifically mentioned the importance of women’s active participation at all levels of decision-making in matters relating to the environment, as well as the incorporation of gender issues in policies and programmes for sustainable growth.

Womens rights in environmental law
(Illustration: Herlinde Demaerel / China Dialogue)

Similar to the ripple effects of Stockholm Conference in transnational environment law, the legacy left by the Beijing Womens Conference was sustained through various follow up reviews and commitments. 2020 Beijing+ 25 DeclarationState commitments to increase efforts to mainstream a gender perspective into environmental and climate change policies. This is in consideration of not only the vulnerability experienced women and girls but also women’s leadership in environmental decision making.

Negotiations for CBDs Post-2020 Global Biodiversity FrameworkIts. gender action planAnother opportunity is the COP15 in Kunming (China), which began this year and will end there next year. The CBD refers primarily to the vital role of women in the conservation of and sustainable use biological diversity. This is why it is important for them to be fully involved at all levels of biodiversity policy-making.

The first environmental convention-based gender action plan was the CBD 2015-2020 Gender Plan of ActionThe report, which was compiled by the, recommended that country pledges (also known as National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs), should include specific activities to address gender inequalities and adequate funding to support efforts to mainstream gender issues.

See Also

How public participation is applied and interpreted will greatly impact the extent to which women are able to participate in public affairs and their rights to a healthy environment. The following are the guidelines: Aarhus ConventionThe Escaz AgreementFor example, they can create legal obligations for its parties and provide strategic direction. The UN Human Rights Council was established in October 2021. The right to a healthy environment was first recognized. This resolution was championed by many women, including Catalina Devandas (Costa Rican Ambassador), who was part of the core group of countries that proposed it. The resolution acknowledges that public participation is essential for the protection and preservation of a healthy, sustainable, and clean environment.

Womens rights in environmental law_image3_Herlinde Dem
(Illustration: Herlinde Demaerel / China Dialogue)

Although gender equality is not yet a reality, significant steps have been made to recognize the critical role of women in transnational environmental law. This issue was not covered at the 1972 Stockholm Conference.

The combination of the triple crises (climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution) will only be possible if the seeds planted in Stockholm are effectively harvested and women’s rights placed at the core of transnational environment law. The universal recognition by the United Nations General Assembly of the right of healthy environments and the inclusion of ecocide in the crime against humanity as a crime against humanity, together with gender equality, would be transformative steps. Stockholm+50 offers a historic opportunity for people to argue that these are ideas that have finally arrived.

The author would like Dr Sam Geall from China Dialogue and Professor Tang Yingxia from the Law School at Nankai University to thank for their valuable comments on an earlier version of this article.

China Dialogues: Read More Environmental History Series.

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