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Gender, environment and development

The SEI Gender, Environment and Development (GED) work theme consists of a team of gender researchers that apply a gender and social equality perspective to environment and development issues for transformative social change.

Photo: Pin Pravalprukskal / SEI.

Areas of work

GED conducts research on key drivers of gender and social inequality in the environment and development fields, building partnerships to complement and enhance the capacities of development practitioners and civil society groups for effective gender and social analyses. We engage with policy-makers, advocates and other knowledge producers to ensure inequalities are addressed in decision-making processes that will advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.

GED uses critical gender analyses that focus on unequal power relations based on gender, class, ethnicity, age, (dis)ability, religion, and how they influence governance and policy action, in the following thematic areas.

Gender, climate change and disaster risk

We investigate inequality drivers that shape disaster and climate change vulnerabilities that lead to displacements and weakened capacities to adapt, recover, and build long-term resilience to disasters and climate change.

Gender and natural resource management

We explore gender and social equality dynamics in the use of land, water, forest, and marine and coastal resources to understand complex and intertwined issues of food and livelihood insecurity.

Gender and energy transitions

We work to understand gender and social equity implications of transitioning from fossil fuel dependence to low-carbon energy sources on workers, communities, national economies and fossil fuel corporations, and on overall energy security.

Gender professionals in the environment and development fields

We work to understand gender professionals’ strategies and dilemmas as they are assigned the difficult task to advance gender equality in contexts where the technical sciences traditionally define priorities for research and policy action.

Selected projects

Gender and Social Equality at SEI

GED co-leads the SEI global programme on Gender and Social Equality (GSE) that brings together experts from across SEI to undertake cutting-edge research on GSE issues in environment and development. The programme also aims to integrate GSE issues into SEI projects.

Disasters and climate change

GED supports gender mainstreaming activities in USAID SERVIR-Mekong, a programme assisting Lower Mekong Countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam) to develop and access satellite imagery and geospatial technologies for environmental management and climate change responses. We conduct research on building resilience through inclusive and climate-adaptive disaster risk reduction, in addition to gender mainstreaming in GIZ Thailand climate change projects. We additionally engage in research on migration and displacement in the context of disasters and climate change.

Natural resources management

GED is supporting a regional study on improving the understanding of structural challenges preventing equitable opportunities in coastal and marine resources management. We have also assessed gender in relation to water insecurity and support research on gender in agriculture. We investigated women’s public participation in environmental impact assessment processes in Viet Nam, Cambodia and Myanmar as part of the USAID Mekong Partnership for the Environment, and plan to work on agricultural transitions and the role of youth and circular migration.

Energy transitions

GED undertook a gender assessment of the renewable energy sectors of Lower Mekong Countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Viet Nam and Thailand), which informed the development of USAID Clean Power Asia’s Gender Implementation Plan. We also contributed to the development of approaches to advance gender equality within private sector hydropower operators in Myanmar through research on gender in hydropower development.