Six months after the kick-off of a new Horizon 2020 project on waste prevention and management in touristic areas and after several months of preparations, the Tuscany region hosted the first Mutual Learning event within the project framework on gender mainstreaming in waste management.
The eleven pilot cities and regions came together in Florence, at the Tuscany Region’s Palazzo Guadagni Strozzi Sacrati for a one day conference beautifully facilitated and prepared by the project’s gender auditor, Susan Buckingham. The pilots reflected on gendering in waste management in general but more specifically in their home environments. Ms Buckingham gave an overview of how different spheres of life are affected by gender and how obvious or not gendering sometimes is. She looked at various actors in waste management, ranging from waste pickers to engineers and decision makers. Differences can be seen in the type of work the two genders are performing as well as the short-term and more often long-term consequences on women’s health, including her reproductive health. She highlighted research and academia, environment and tourism in particular before she presented the case study of Santander where certain features and figures show a very common pattern for gender in waste management what could be easily applied to other pilots, too. Numbers coming from the IMF (2016) report on a share of only 24% share of women in waste management. As a conclusion and a way forward she reflected on several initiatives and gender and international policies, such as the General Programme for Action: World
Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, COP18’s Lima Programme on Gender Equality from 2014 and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Line Kai – Brogaard from the City of Copenhagen presented a study conducted by the Danish Waste Association in 2013 which covered entire Denmark and all type of families and housing, with a special attention to have both genders equally represented in the survey. Outcomes of the study and the research were a number of conclusions and consideration to be made for future waste management improvements and adapting it to residents’ needs. Namely, convenience and proving the residents that they are doing something good is important; furthermore when making changes and introducing new initiatives, attention should be paid not to affect the existing waste fees. And generally, the residents like to be awarded for certain efforts of theirs, especially those which bring benefits to the municipality. The survey helped the City of Copenhagen understand how different lifestyles and circumstances affect people’s approach to waste management.
The meeting was attended by a number of local and international stakeholders in the project, such as the Municipality of Florence, the Hotels Associations of Kavala (Greece) and others what opened the door to a successful inclusion of other stakeholders throughout the project. It was also a good opportunity to organise and find a framework for organising the focus groups which will later take place in each pilot by the partners. These focus groups will include 3 target groups – waste management workers, tourism workers and tourists.
The meeting was preceded by the project’s Steering Committee meeting where the leaders of the working packages discussed the recent project’s developments, milestones and upcoming events and tasks. The next Mutual Learning event on ICT solutions for cities’ waste management challenges will be held in Santander, Spain in March 2017. The dates will be confirmed soon.