Betsy Hartmann, Anne Hendrixson & Jade Sasser
PopDev is proud to announce the launch of the UN Women flagship report The World Survey of the Role of Women in Development: Gender Equality and Sustainable Development. The report has been presented to the UN General Assembly and translated into all six official UN languages. Betsy Hartmann and Anne Hendrixson of PopDev were the lead authors of the background paper on population that framed the report’s chapter on Population, Sustainable Development and Gender Equality.
The chapter on population, sustainable development and gender equality, shows the continued and indeed, renewed, dominance of policy perspectives that attribute environmental degradation and ecological threats to growing populations. These perspectives distract attention from and thus support the continuation of unsustainable consumption and production patterns and inequities that are actually far more significant in producing environmental problems than are sheer numbers of people. The chapter discusses the dangers of narrowly focused population policies that view women’s fertility as a cause of and solution for environmental degradation and that can be coercive and punitive, without providing support for — and in fact, often undermining — women’s rights, dignity and control over their bodies.