On March 14th 2023, GRID-Arendal, ISWA WOW! Task Force, ICWM and IIHMR University, coorganised the event, a Just Transition of Women in the Waste Management Sector. The event discussed such topics as equal access, ownership, and control over resources for women of the waste management sector; women’s equality in work, including rights and support for informal waste workers; women’s equal access to social protection; and the reduction and redistribution of unpaid care and domestic work, carried out by women. In this way, not only women’s livelihoods but also their skills, knowledge, and contribution to the sector are not lost but rather are strengthened and valued in a transition to sustainable and organised waste management.
The full-day programme included a panel of nine international and regional speakers, highlighting both the challenges but also model projects and needed research and policy that can bring real change to women working with waste. Following the panel, these inputs were discussed in a workshop together with academics from the public health, development and pharmaceutical sectors to brainstorm local pathways for action.
This briefing note provides a short background to women in the waste sector and the ways to a just transition as well as a summary of the key inputs and discussion topics of the event.