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Inclusive Markets

Equality in Plastics Circularity

The marginalization embedded within waste systems and global markets today tends to disproportionately affect women.

Many waste management and recycling systems in South and Southeast Asia rely on women working in the informal sector, but offer them few opportunities to secure dignified work or improve their livelihoods.

Program Highlights

The Problem

The work of women is often less secure and less valued than the work of men, and women are at greater risk of discrimination, harrassment, and violence. Opportunities to build assets and consolidate influence or power in the waste management value chain are also often harder for women to access.

Gender inequality also intersects with, and compounds discrimination on the basis of, ethnicity, religion, language, caste, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and age, among other aspects of personal identity.

The pursuit of innovative solutions to improve waste management runs the risk of inadvertently contributing to trends that could negatively impact the most marginalized and disenfranchised people in the system. Therefore, it is essential to keep a focus on gender equality and social inclusion in the work of The Incubation Network.

Advancing Gender Equality and Social Inclusion

  • The Program
  • The Offer

The Equality in Plastics Circularity program will support innovative pilot solutions with six Civil Society Organizations and two Social Enterprises to tackle pressing issues around social and economic gender inequalities across the plastic waste value chain, particularly towards women waste workers. Five of these projects are entrepreneurial solutions, complemented by three research and policy advocacy projects. 

Through the pilot projects, the program will:

  • Increase awareness around gender inequalities and human rights issues within waste management and recycling systems, highlight practical approaches to improving gender sensitivity and responsiveness, and demonstrate the potential impact of such approaches.
  • Generate and scale two-pronged innovative solutions that tackle issues within waste management and recycling systems, and simultaneously value women as key stakeholders, thus increasing women’s access to and control of resources.
  • Create opportunities for civil society organizations, particularly those that represent waste workers and women’s rights, to influence decision-making in waste management and recycling systems.

All projects will run for a six to twelve-month period, and commenced in November 2021.

Supported by: Global Affairs Canada, Alliance to End Plastic Waste

The Incubation Network will deploy support of more than US$220,000, as well as technical and other assistance, to the cohort of projects. The cohort will also receive support in measuring and evaluating the impact of their solutions at the end of their pilots. 

The Cohort

  • Kashtakari Panchayat

  • EcoSattva Environmental Solutions

  • Chintan Environmental Research & Action Group

  • Centre for Social Research & Development (CSRD)

    • GreenHub

    • WWF-Philippines

    • Philippine Reef & Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc (PRRCFI)

    • Pure Oceans


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