Women and SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Main objectives of SDG-12 are to achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources. This means especially to reduce food waste and food losses, to reduce waste generation and to reduce the release of chemicals to air, water and soil.

To quote UNGEI: „When girls can access information about how to adapt to a changing climate they can play an instrumental role in reducing consumption. They can also contribute to the resilience of their families and communities.“

Well, sure they can. Women all over the world play a key role in social education, transmitting culture and family patterns. Therefore, as responsible consumers they can be the best role models, teaching their children the right way to use resources and to protect their environment. As producers, women also can be key (remember that rural women and girls make up 50 - 70 % of the agricultural labour force around the world): They can make a great impact here by for example using organic and biological fertilizers or using long-term, environmentally friendly strategies like crop rotation to increase yields.

But all of this requires achievement of SDG-5 first. Only equal educational and technical skills as well as equal financial resources for women can give them the power to act and influence both their families and communities, thus enabling them to establish sustainable patterns of production and consumption.

Felicitas Heyne


Psychologist and Co-Founder of Audiopedia Foundation