Empowering Women Through Waste Management: UN Women’s Transformative Initiative


Solid waste management remains a persistent challenge across the globe, disproportionately impacting women and girls. UN Women’s innovative Waste Management Initiative tackles this issue by empowering women to become agents of change. By engaging women in waste collection, sorting, recycling, and composting, this initiative promotes gender equality, enhances livelihoods, and protects the environment.

The Challenge: Gendered Impacts of Waste

Women bear a disproportionate burden of waste management due to their primary responsibility for household chores and childcare. In many communities, they lack access to safe and sustainable waste disposal facilities. Exposure to hazardous waste can negatively impact their health and livelihoods.

The Solution: Empowering Women

UN Women’s Waste Management Initiative focuses on:

  • Promoting gender-inclusive waste management policies and practices by advocating for increased access to infrastructure, technologies, and resources.
  • Engaging women in waste collection and sorting by establishing income-generating opportunities and providing training on safe waste handling techniques.
  • Promoting recycling and composting by establishing collection and processing centers and facilitating market access for recycled materials.
  • Empowering women entrepreneurs by supporting the development of sustainable and innovative waste management businesses.

Impact and Benefits

The initiative has yielded significant impacts:

  • Increased access to safe waste management services in underserved communities.
  • Increased income generation opportunities for women through recycling and composting.
  • Reduced environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Enhanced community health and sanitation.
  • Increased women’s agency and empowerment.

Case Studies and Success Stories

The initiative has been implemented in various countries, resulting in remarkable success stories. In India, UN Women supported the establishment of a women-led waste collection and composting enterprise, creating job opportunities and reducing waste in urban areas. In Kenya, the initiative has empowered women entrepreneurs to establish a successful recycling business, generating income and reducing plastic pollution.


UN Women’s Waste Management Initiative demonstrates the transformative power of gender equality in sustainable waste management. By empowering women to become agents of change, the initiative creates a win-win situation, addressing both environmental and gender equality challenges.


1. What are the main objectives of the initiative?

The initiative aims to promote gender-inclusive waste management policies, engage women in waste collection and sorting, promote recycling and composting, and empower women entrepreneurs.

2. How does the initiative empower women?

The initiative provides training, resources, and income-generating opportunities to enable women to participate in waste management activities and establish their own businesses.

3. What are the environmental benefits of the initiative?

The initiative reduces waste pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and promotes resource recovery through recycling and composting.

4 vicissural Support:

4 vicissural Support:

5. How can I support the UN Women’s Waste Management Initiative?

  • Donate to UN Women.
  • Volunteer your expertise.
  • Advocate for gender-inclusive waste management policies.
  • Support organizations implementing the initiative in your community.


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