Women's Conference on the Environment

3 Sep 2000
Kitakyushu, Japan

The Women's Conference on Environment was held on 3 September 2000 in Kitakyushu, Japan. It was organized by the Kitakyushu Forum on Asian Women (KFAW) and the Japan Women's Global Environment Network International (GENKI). The Conference developed the following proposal which was presented to the Ministerial Conference:

We call for the governments in Asia and the Pacific to reconfirm and to renew their commitment to Agenda 21, especially Chapter 24, and the Beijing Platform for Action, particularly Section K on Women and Environment, and the so-called Outcome Document adopted at "Women 2000", the Twenty Third Special Session of the UN General Assembly.

We propose that gender equality and gender perspectives are essential to protect the environment in Asia and the Pacific. We believe that women’s participation in decision-making processes at all levels is crucial to solve the environmental problems. Women’s environmental rights should be always at the heart of environmental policies.

We advocate ensuring citizen’s access to information on advanced technologies, such as genetic engineering. We encourage increasing women’s literacy about sciences and advanced and traditional technologies. Equal rights to information should be guaranteed for men and women.

We value women’s traditional and customary knowledge and skills to protect the environment and human health. We recognize women as managers of natural resources and biodiversity. However, their labor in natural resource management should not be treated as cheap or unpaid, but should be used for their own benefit and well-being. We support organic agriculture as a tried, tested, and environmentally sound way to meet people’s need for adequate and safe food, which should not be extinguished by corporate rights to profit and markets.

We stress that environmental impacts are different for men and women, so data should collected by sex respectively. We demand that women’s health rights should not be compromised. This includes the right to health services and sexual and reproductive rights.

We advocate integrating gender perspectives into environmental education and training programs for educators. We request the governments to support people’s efforts to build and strengthen international networks for sustainable consumption and recycling of resources.

We call on the world community to take actions against the adverse impacts of globalization on economic, environmental and health rights of women, especially reproductive health rights. We are particularly concerned about the destitution of women and the sexual trafficking in women and children due to economic and environmental displacement. The forces of globalization and the gender blind privatization of vital resource accelerate this tendency.

We emphasize that priority should be given to women in poverty, especially in developing countries. We urge donor governments to increase their access to resources for empowerment and basic human needs in the international cooperation for development, mainstreaming gender perspectives. We propose to construct a new economic system, based on fair trade and people’s needs, so that women, children and the earth are protected.