Gender Inequality and Environmental Well-Being: A Cross-National Investigation of Ecosystem Vitality and Environmental Health

Kelly F. Austin, Christel Banashek


Ecofeminist perspectives assert that issues of gender and the environment are intertwined, where increasing women’s status will lead to more efficacious environmental policy and improved environmental conditions. We investigate the relationship between gender inequality and environmental well-being by employing a distinct set of indicators to better capture women’s status in relation to men across a variety of contexts (e.g., health, economic, education, political), as well as a comprehensive environment index that includes a variety of ecological and environmental health measures. The results demonstrate that countries with higher levels of gender inequality are associated with poorer environmental well-being, net of other relevant factors. This lends support to the argument that addressing gender inequalities leads to better results for the environment and human health, and that women need to be included more prominently in environmental policy and planning.

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Copyright (c) 2018 Kelly F. Austin, Christel Banashek

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