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SEI brief

Waste management in Bosnia and Herzegovina: a gender equality, social equity and poverty reduction lens

This discussion brief explains how waste management in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is deeply intertwined with gender inequality and social inequity.

Claudia Strambo, Lisa Segnestam / Published on 10 August 2021
Download  Read the discussion brief / PDF / 2 MB

Strambo C., Segnestam L. and Jahović, B. (2021). Waste management in Bosnia and Herzegovina: a gender equality, social equity and poverty reduction lens. Discussion brief. Stockholm Environment Institute, Stockholm.

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.

Read the discussion brief / PDF / 2 MB

SEI authors

Claudia Strambo
Claudia Strambo

Research Fellow

SEI Headquarters

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