Gender and Sustainable Development


About This Site


Links to: Annotated Bibliography, Policy Agenda and Other Links

Welcome to the website on Gender and Sustainable Development! This site houses two dynamic documents which explore a broad range of issues concerning gender and sustainable development:

  1. a Policy Agenda, entitled "policy woven from a web of values", which contains over 100 policy recommendations developed for the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995; and

  2. an Annotated Bibliography, which illustrates the breadth and depth of the work being produced in the domain of gender and sustainable development.


This project developed as one of the follow-up actions from the 1994 "Women and Sustainable Development: Canadian Perspectives Conference" held in Vancouver, British Columbia. This Conference produced over 100 policy recommendations leading into the 1995 Beijing Conference that were published in an agenda entitled "policy woven from a web of values". The Conference was planned by a Steering Committee of grass-roots activists, researchers, public policy practitioners, and leaders of non-governmental organizations from the feminist, environment, development, and peace communities. It was led and chaired by Ann Dale, then Senior Associate at the Sustainable Development Research Institute (SDRI), currently Professor in the Science, Technology & Environment Division at Royal Roads University. The Steering Committee's vision was that this Conference would not be a one-time event, but hopefully, would take on a synergy of its own, similar to the ripples that spread out when you skip a pebble into the pond. [See the Policy Agenda Introduction for more background information.]

As a follow-up, a research team based at the Sustainable Development Research Institute began work on an Annotated Bibliography on Gender and Sustainable Development. The bibliography was not intended to be exhaustive, but rather illustrative of the breadth and depth of the work being produced in this almost meta-theoretical domain, gender and sustainable development. Both gender and sustainable development research is inherently pluralistic in addition to being interdisciplinary, valuing a multiplicity of approaches, both at the theoretical and methodological level. Any annotated bibliography in this domain, therefore, has to reflect the interdisciplinary and pluralistic nature of feminist research. Consequently, a traditional literature search would not reveal the depth and richness of the "emerging domain", and since many women work by personal contacts, we threw another pebble into the pond and began by contacting a small group of female researchers and activists, asking them to identify 10 annotations and passing this request on to their colleagues. [See the Annotated Bibliography Introduction for more background information.]

The organization of both documents reflect one another, and consists of 5 main classifications: the Earth, Community, Power, Sustainable Livelihoods, and Spirituality.

"... the ability to choose policy paths that are sustainable requires that the ecological dimensions of policy be considered at the same time as the economic, trade, energy, agricultural, industrial and other dimensions -- on the same agendas and in the national and international institutions."

- Our Common Future, 1987

Your Role

We are now casting our pebble into the river to generate even broader ripples, and are inviting you to add your annotations, making this document come alive by becoming interactive and dynamic with you the reader. [Please see our list of references waiting to be annotated, as well as our annotation submission form.] We also invite you to add or make recommendations to the policy agenda. [Please see our agenda item submission form.] While the site presently represents predominantly English-language sources, we hope to have the site grow as a multilingual resource. We therefore welcome additions in the original language of the author.

More About This Site


We gratefully acknowledge the support of the following organizations in developing this website:

BC Ministry of Environment, Lands & Parks

BC Ministry of Municipal Affairs

IDRC LogoInternational Development Research Centre (IDRC)



VanCity LogoVancouver City Savings Credit Union



The artwork you seen throughout the site was produced as one of the outcomes of the 1994 Conference. Adults and children were encouraged to paint posters and you will see their artwork scattered throughout the site.

As well, under the wonderful direction of Jeannie Kammins, senior artists created works of art that were displayed during the Conference and published in an exhibition catalogue that went on to the 1995 UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. In the voice of Jeannie, "The organizers, realizing that the cutting edge of thought comes from the artistic sector, felt that no conference that examines the issues of the future would be complete without the input of artists. Although it is questionable to those of us who make political art as to how much of our art affects world thought, the fact that the artist is the first to go during political upheaval gives us solace."

Contact Information

We hope that the overall structure of this site is flexible enough so as to accommodate your additions and suggestions. Any comments you may wish to make about the site may be e-mailed to Ann Dale -

This site is housed at Royal Roads University.