United the public and private spheres, including trafficking

United Nations system: Mainstreaming a gender
perspective is the process of assessing the implications for men and women of
any planned action, including legislation, policies and programs, in all areas
and at all levels. It is a strategy for making women’s as well as men’s
concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation,
monitoring and evaluation of policies and programs in all political, economic
and social spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not
perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality (ESC, 1997).
 The approach seeks to alter power relations,
present a critique to property rights, and ensure the meeting of men/women
strategic as well as practical needs.

Sustainable development

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Sustainable development should “meet the needs of
the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet
their own needs”. Sustainable development is economic, social and environmental
development that ensures human well-being and dignity, ecological integrity,
gender equality and social justice, now and in the future (UN, 1999).  Women have a critical role to play in all
SDGs, with many targets specifically recognizing women’s equality and
empowerment as both the objective and part of the solution (Eriksson, 2016). Achieving gender
equality and empowering all women and girls is the fifth goal of sustainable
development. It aims to end all forms of discrimination against all women and
girls everywhere, eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls
in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other
types of exploitation. Next is the elimination of all harmful practices, such
as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation (UN, 2015).

 Next is the
recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of
public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the
promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as
nationally appropriate. The other aim is the insuring that women’s full and
effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of
decision-making in political, economic and public life (UN, 2015).  More so, the ensuring that there is availability
of universal access to health and that the reproductive rights are availed.  The undertaking of reforms to give women equal
rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over
land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural
resources, in accordance with national laws. Additionally is the use of
enabling technology to promote the empowerment of women. Lastly the adoption,
strengthening of sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion
of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels (Eriksson, 2015).

The environmental costs of production, such toxic
waste and greenhouse gas emissions are experienced in countries in their path
to development. Such patterns of development create profits at environmental
expense, whether through the entrenched fossil fuel systems that supply
industry, energy and automobiles or through industrial agriculture that
generates short-term gain by mining soils and depleting water resources (UN, 2014). Such are
unsustainable, compromising future production and consumption and threatening
the integrity and resilience of ecosystems and biodiversity (Millennium
Ecosystem Assessment, 2005). Decline in ecosystem services and productive
capacity destabilize people’s livelihoods and health, both in the present and
for future generations. In the pursuit of profit, the social and environmental
costs of production are shifted onto the state, private households and local
communities, or onto the natural environment. The costs and consequences of
socio-environmental change are manifested in different forms of gender

National disasters, including those related to
climate change, disproportionately affect poor women (Neumayer, 2007). Women
often bear the brunt of coping with climate- related shocks and stresses or the
health effects of indoor and urban pollution, which add to their care burdens.
As land, forest and water resources once held in common are increasingly
enclosed, privatized or grabbed for commercial investment, local communities
and indigenous peoples, particularly women, whose livelihoods depend on them,
are marginalized and displaced (Levien, 2012). In this process, sustainable
livelihoods, health, rights and dignity are jeopardized mostly of women.
Governments and donor agencies target women as critical agents as
sustainability saviors. This is done by community adaptation to climate change
in their role as smallholder farmers, the mainstay of sustainable food production;
and through limiting their reproductive rights, as the answer to population-
environment problems (UN, 1999).

Institutional gender policies

The formation of policies should be sensitive to
gender. The categorization of policies is dependent on the degree in which they
recognize gender issues.
These may be gender-blind, gender–neutral, gender-aware, gender–specific or
gender–redistributive. When doing gender analysis for planning needs to examine
what immediate, intermediate and long-term factors are responsible for the
problems and the effects on those involved (Kabeer, 1994; Kabeer &
Subrahmanian, 1996).  In challenging
gender inequality in the institutions that social relations experience
disparities, focus should be on the process through which equitable
power-sharing is to be achieved.

The introduction of the structural adjustment
policies in the 1990 to the developing countries by IMF and World Bank came
with them the economic liberalization and opening of markets. Competitive
market forces, free of prejudice from development planners were seen as the
obvious mechanisms to generate gender neutral opportunities of self-employment (Byerle et al., 2010). However the
stiff competition was a disadvantage for example, some case studies from Kenya
describe how women basket makers experienced loss of employment and livelihood
as consumers switched to imported, mass produced substitutes from East Asia
(Joekes and Weston, 1994). Women were accorded increasing recognition as key
agents in development process and as the power behind exports success of global
market factories like EPZs and the providers of food through farming who would
solve sub-Saharan food crisis. Developments overriding objective was economic
development.  Welfare programs were
deemed to be residual in nature and actually discouraged by the SAPs, were only
to be offered when there was requirement to mainstream planning had been met (Byerle et al., 2010).