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Project

The impact of air pollution on the world of work for women and youth in East and South East Asia

Air pollution is a growing problem in Asian countries, and while the impacts on human health are becoming increasingly known, the associated impacts on the world of work, including worker productivity, and work quality and quantity, remain understudied.

There is little evidence of the gendered impacts of poor air quality in the world of work. Photo: v2osk/Unsplash

Active project

2020–2022

Within this, there is little evidence of the gendered impacts of poor air quality in the world of work, including impacts on younger population groups newly entering the job market. Through this project, focusing on East and South East Asian countries, we will review the existing evidence and knowledge and carry out case studies, in order to identify evidence-based recommendations to improve air quality alongside the quality and quantity of employment in a context of just transitions towards a low carbon economy. We will generate an evidence base needed by policy makers, employers and labour organisations and practitioners working in the environment, labour and health sectors to mitigate the ‘gendered’ impacts of air pollution in the world of work. Working in collaboration with stakeholders, we will identify knowledge gaps, mitigating pathways, economic, employment and labour market policy options, the roles of stakeholders, and opportunities to improve the quality of jobs and contribute to a healthier and more resilient economy. The research will be framed within a larger analytical framework of environmental justice and distributive environmental justice.

Working in collaboration with stakeholders and using regional case studies, we will identify knowledge gaps, mitigating pathways, economic, employment and labour market policy options, roles of stakeholders, and opportunities to improve the quality of jobs and contribute to a healthier and more resilient economy. We will frame the research within a larger analytical framework of environmental justice and distributive environmental justice.

The overall objective is to understand the differentiated impacts of air pollution on the world of work in East and Southeast Asian countries, and to identify evidence-based recommendations from regional case studies, to improve air quality and the quality and quantity of employment in a context of just transitions towards a low carbon economy.

As a result, we will add to the evidence base needed by policy makers, employers and labour organisations and practitioners working in the environment, labour and health sectors to mitigate the ‘gendered’ impacts of air pollution in work.

The project will produce knowledge that can be used by policy makers, employers’ and workers’ organisations, and civil society, at the intersection of labour, environment and health. It will help to ensure that ‘gendering’ effects of any measures that are applied are fully accounted for in decision-making.

Through active participation and capacity building, we will also raise the awareness of employers’ and workers’ groups and other civil society organisations working on air quality and labour rights about the need to consider air quality in the context of work, and identify potential solutions that also create employment opportunities, working in collaboration with local organisations in the case study countries. 

Diane Archer

Senior Research Fellow

SEI Asia

Natalia Biskupska

Programme Manager

SEI Asia

Chris Malley

Senior Research Fellow

SEI York

Connie O’Neill

Research Associate

SEI York

Raja Asvanon

Research Associate

SEI Asia

Rajesh Daniel

Head of Communications, SEI Asia

Communications

SEI Asia

Variya Plungwatana

Communications Assistant

Communications

SEI Asia

Fedra Vanhuyse
Fedra Vanhuyse

Head of Division: Societies, Climate and Policy Support

SEI Headquarters

Cynthia McDougall

Senior Research Fellow

SEI Asia

Chris Malley

Senior Research Fellow

SEI York

Johan C.I. Kuylenstierna

Reader / Research Leader

SEI York

Topics and subtopics
Air : Pollution
Related centres
SEI Asia

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