Gender inequality and social inequity – understood in terms of access to and control over assets, participation in decision making, and knowledge, which are all dimensions of poverty – are deeply intertwined with environmental change.

This discussion brief examines the relationships between waste management, gender inequality, social inequity and poverty in BiH. It summarises the findings from a review of secondary literature and publicly available databases on environment, health, natural resources, gender equality, social equity and poverty in BiH.

Key messages

  • While waste collection coverage has expanded over the last decade in BiH, gaps remain and some areas remain under-serviced, especially rural regions. Roma households are also more likely to lack access to waste services than non-Roma households.
  • Waste disposal practices can be influenced by gender and age. Hence, it is important to recognize and challenge social norms that affect people’s waste reduction and recycling behaviour.
  • Due to the lack of alternative employment opportunities, many Roma communities rely on informal activities to make a living, especially collecting and selling garbage. As waste management systems are
    developed further in BiH, it is important to give informal waste collectors a stable role in this system.
  • Waste management is a male-dominated industry. Introducing gender-based quotas and targeted training schemes can help diversify employment in the waste management sector.