GPAP releases global gender guidance and Ghana gender baseline study

Blog   May 26, 2021

AT THIS WEEK'S Virtual Ocean Dialogues hosted by the World Economic Forum, GPAP published a pair of flagship gender knowledge products – a global guide for all actors across the plastics value chain, and a baseline study focusing on gender and plastics in Ghana.

The plastics value chain is a near-perfect example of how gender norms and roles lead to inequalities that are left unaddressed. Writes Katherine Gilchrist, GPAP Global Gender Advisor, "Women’s and men’s different gender roles at home and work lead to them being exposed to different degrees of hazardous plastic waste or chemical components. That’s just one example of how gender issues manifest in the plastics value chain."

In Ghana, National Gender Advisor Elsie Odonkor interviewed over 150 stakeholders across the plastics community. The invaluable findings from her work are captured in our newly released Ghana gender baseline study, accompanied by our global gender mainstreaming guide for all actors.

In moving toward the circular economy, Ghana will progress faster if waste-pickers are prioritized and supported by properly equipping them, establishing community buyback centres as well as standardizing the price of plastic waste. (Photo by Elsie Odonkor, Ghana Gender Advisor)

In Ghana, women work predominantly in the informal economy as itinerant waste-pickers (64%) and in recycling companies as washers and sorters (68%).

While women, migrants, Indigenous Peoples, and low-income populations are more likely to be negatively affected by plastic pollution, they are also a driving force of positive change, leadership, and innovation in their communities. Canada is proud to support Global Plastic Action Partnership’s efforts to reduce plastic pollution in a way that empowers all. We encourage greater gender inclusiveness and social justice in national policies on plastic waste.

— Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change for Canada