ISWA’s Women of Waste Task Force host panel on just growth and transition in the informal sector

Mar 24, 2023 | ISWA news, Women Of Waste

At the invitation of Institute of Chartered Waste Managers (ICWM), the ISWA National Member for India, together with the Norwegian based GRID-Arendal,ย  ISWA’s Women of Waste Task Force organized a panel discussion and workshop onย  โ€œ๐—ช๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ช๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ: ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ท๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜ ๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜„๐˜๐—ตโ€ during the ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿณ๐˜๐—ต Pradanya IIHMR๐—š๐—น๐—ผ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—–๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ฟ ๐—˜๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ผ๐—บ๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฆ๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜๐˜† (๐—–๐—ข๐—ฅ๐—˜ ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฏ)” on the 14th March 2023 at ๐—œ๐—œ๐—›๐— ๐—ฅ ๐—จ๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜๐˜†, in the โ€œPink Cityโ€ of Jaipur India.ย 


Most of the waste is collected by the informal sector in India โ€“ and women make a up a large percentage of that workforce, often facing harsh conditions. But change is coming. The concept of a just transition from informal to a more organized system of solid waste management is gaining traction within circular economy debates and replacing the earlier ideas that missed the social and labour dimensions. In a just transition, womenโ€™s livelihoods as well as their skills, knowledge and contribution are not lost to the sector but rather are strengthened and valued in the fight against plastic pollution.ย  ย 

With moderation by Georgina Nitzsche, WOW! Coordinator, panel speakers presented their inspiring regional and national projects and models working both directly with women and with a gender sensitive approach.ย  For example, Beate Kvรฆrnes Langset counsellor Royal Norwegian Embassy New Delhi, gave insights to their work collecting and collating available data on women working in the informal sector, and Nancy A. Strand from Avfall Norge highlighted the step-wise program from the grassroots CLOCC project in Indonesia which is funded by Noraid and ISWA is also part of.ย 

The impressive efforts to reduce plastic river pollution in Nepal through personal interviews and follow-up technical support to women were presented by Pratik Bajracharya from creasion Nepal,ย  Amogh Bhongale SWaCHย  presented their pioneering gender-sensitive collective model from Pune.ย  ย 

Bharati Chaturvedi Director and Founder of Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group shared the sobering results of her new study, Santulan, focussed on women and plastics, examining the potential for a gendered circular economy – as well as her uplifting work improving the lives and families of 17,000 female waste workers. These examples show the tough challenges but also the potential when women are supported in a just transition โ€“ it can be done.ย 

The panel discussion was followed by a roundtable workshop on the Just Transition of the Informal Recycling Sector with the aim of generating practical activities and models for India, particularly for women. This interactive session was led by WOW! TF Lead Maria Tsakona senior solid waste and marine litter expert from GRID-Arendalย  using themes and inputs from their recently published policy paper: A Seat at the Table – The Role of the Informal Recycling Sector in Plastic Pollution Reduction, and Recommended Policy Changesย ย  It was a great brainstorming session and the workshop proceedings will be available shortly.ย ย ย 

WOW! Is grateful to Dr Vivek S Agrawalย and CA Shivangi Sultania from theย  Institute of Chartered Waste Managers (ICWM). Dr Mamta Chauhan and Dr. Goutam Sadhu of IIHMR University for their support and warm hospitality.

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