Magazine article Women & Environments International Magazine

New Partnership between IPEN and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on Women and Chemicals

Magazine article Women & Environments International Magazine

New Partnership between IPEN and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on Women and Chemicals

Article excerpt

The third meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), held in early December 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya, focused on ending pollution in all its forms. At the meeting, IPEN and UNEP announced a new partnership to enhance and mainstream issues related to women and chemicals throughout their work.

UNEP is the leading organization within the United Nations system in the field of environment. IPEN is a global network of civil society organizations committed to achieving a future where food, water, soil, and air are not contaminated with chemicals which cause cancer, disrupt endocrine systems and cause birth defects, so that children may be born free from hazardous chemicals that would otherwise harm their life and the life of generations to come.

IPEN and UNEP share common goals with regards to human health and the environment worldwide. Their decision to focus a collaborative partnership on women and chemicals was made to emphasize gender aspects of chemical safety. There are nearly 4 billion women and girls on the planet. Despite the fact that women make up roughly half of the population and chemical exposure is widespread, knowledge of exposure routes and the true impacts of chemical exposures on women and their children are difficult to determine because there is a lack of gender-disaggregated data.

Environmental assessments of activities on chemicals and wastes usually ignore gender aspects, and thus differences in gender susceptibility to chemical exposure are not considered which may reduce the effectiveness of projects and policies.

The new IPEN-UNEP partnership has three components:

First, a focus on the impacts of chemicals on women and children. …

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