Title: Gender and sustainable consumption: policy implications

Authors: Cynthia Isenhour, Matilda Ardenfors

Addresses: Department of Anthropology, University of Kentucky, 211 Laferty Hall, Lexington, KY 40506, USA. ' Stockholm Center for Organizational Research, Stockholm University, SE 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This research finds that women are more likely than men to consume sustainably based on a case study of Swedish families. Sustainable consumption includes activities such as buying green and fair trade products, reducing travel, eating organic foods, and recycling. According to this research, women express more interest in sustainable living and spend more time seeking information on sustainable consumption and sustainable alternatives than men. But women also bare a disproportionate burden for maintaining sustainable lifestyles. While Sweden has consistently ranked high in measures of gender equity, household and family duties remain a female responsibility in most Swedish families. As such, women are often pressed for time, making the pursuit of sustainable consumerism and lifestyles difficult. While Swedish gender equity policies have supported the development of greener lifestyles, sustainable development may not be realised if policies emphasise the role of consumers rather than producers while relying disproportionately on women.

Keywords: gender equality; female roles; sustainable consumption; sustainable development; sustainability policies; Sweden; women; sustainable living; sustainable lifestyles.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISD.2009.028068

International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, 2009 Vol.4 No.2/3, pp.135 - 149

Available online: 03 Sep 2009 *

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