Advancing Toward Equality: Why a Gender-Inclusive Approach to Circular Economy Matters

The Circular Economy, a model challenging current production and consumption patterns, holds the potential to address systemic problems and contribute to sustainable development. However, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) necessitates a gender-inclusive approach. Gender equality, highlighted in SDG 5, is a fundamental value guiding the SDGs, emphasizing its crucial role in fostering inclusive and sustainable development. Recognizing the influence of structural factors and their impact on the shift to a circular economy underscores the importance of integrating a gender perspective in policies guiding this transition.

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Promoting Gender Inclusivity in the Circular Economy

A gender-equal structure is fundamental for the circular economy to create a comprehensive and sustainable model. Women’s active involvement across the entire circular economy spectrum is essential. Currently, women are disproportionately represented in lower-value activities within the circular economy, like recycling and waste management. To truly drive the circular economy transition, women’s participation is vital in higher-value activities such as industrial eco-design and the development of circular products, where they are underrepresented due to factors like limited access to STEM fields. Bridging this gender gap is not only just but can also accelerate the circular economy transition, as shown by research linking improved gender diversity to better environmental outcomes.


The Nexus of Gender and Circular Economy in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, the drive toward a circular economy is attracting a growing number of professionals embracing gender inclusivity. As awareness grows regarding the necessity of gender perspectives in circularity-related policies and strategies, more professionals in the Netherlands are recognizing the critical role women play in this transition. This understanding is reshaping recruitment, promotion, and retention strategies, promoting a more balanced and inclusive workforce in sectors pivotal to the circular economy. The Netherlands is swiftly aligning its professionals with global goals, preparing for a sustainable future that embraces both circularity and gender equality.

In summary, a gender-inclusive approach to the circular economy is not just a matter of social justice but a strategic imperative to ensure the success and sustainability of the circular model. By actively engaging and empowering women in the transition to a circular economy, we not only bridge gender gaps but also enrich the diversity of perspectives needed to build a truly sustainable and inclusive future. The Netherlands, like many nations, is recognizing this imperative and witnessing a positive shift in its professional landscape towards a more balanced and equitable circular economy.


Original Source: Why adopting a gender-inclusive approach towards Circular Economy matters by Industrial Analytics Platform for United Nations Industrial Development Organization

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