The waste sector is a significant and growing source of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Most developing countries are minor contributors to global GHG, and produce limited emissions from municipal solid waste. However, as poor countries become integrated into global circuits of production and consumption, their contributions to global GHG emissions are likely to increase concomitantly. National and local governments and international agencies have identified municipal waste sector reform and modernisation in emerging economies as a global priority for climate change mitigation. International attention and funding is increasingly targeted towards improved and sustainable waste management in developing countries, both as part of climate change mitigation strategies and as a response to the marine litter crises. However, when moving towards more sustainable practices of waste management, it is important to take into account socioeconomic factors and how modern approaches to sustainable waste management will impact the livelihoods of people who currently find their income – often informally – in current waste management activities. Here we look at how gender norms play an important role in current waste management practices and how gender equality is influenced if the modernisation of waste sector is not taking into account gender aspects.
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