MSP Institute issues an occasional newsletter about gender and chemicals. It contains updates from our project work, as well as information from the broader gender and chemicals community and international chemicals and waste management policy processes, especially SAICM.

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Newsletter – Winter 2023:


Project “Gender and Chemicals- for a gender-responsive chemicals management”: The project aims to further strengthen gender aspects in the political discourse and to involve relevant actors (international organizations, policy makers, industry, research and civil society) in the discourse, to integrate gender on a structural-organizational level in future policy instruments and programs and to strengthen the participation of women’s organizations and gender experts.

This work is financially supported by a grant from the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection.

You can learn more at

Seeking your input and advice: We are consulting with colleagues from women’s organizations, governments, intergovernmental organisations and other stakeholders as well as individual experts on the project activities and goals. If you’re interested in discussing gender and chemicals issues, relevant processes, research and literature with us, please do let us know!

Contact us via


Project Decolonization & SDGs: In 2022, the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district office provided a grant for our project on decolonization and SDGs: MSP Institute associate Leopold von Carlowitz, in collaboration with Minu Hemmati, developed an issues and action paper on public interventions and dialogue projects aiming to sensitize its citizens on Berlin’s colonial past and its linkages to present sustainable development issues. 
In close collaboration with the district administration, the project intended to create public space(s) for constructive encounter and dialogue in the post-colonial sphere. Based on interviews with key stakeholders, the authors have developed various ideas for future decolonization activities in the district.

In March 2023, the overview paper “Public interventions, awareness-raising and dialogue on decolonization and sustainable development” was published in German and English.


The resumed first session of the ad hoc open-ended working group (OEWG) on a science-policy panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution

Global chemicals production is expected to double by 2030 (GCOII, 2019) but we still know little about the impacts of chemicals and hazardous waste and pollution on our health and the environment. That is why the need for a science-policy panel has been discussed for years under the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). In 2021 and 2022 the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), in its resolution 5/8, eventually decided that a science-policy panel should be established to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution. This UNEA decision marks a historic point: soon all three areas of planetary environmental crisis will have their own science-policy interface. Climate change has the IPCC, biodiversity loss the IPBES, and the establishment of a new science-policy body on the pollution crisis is planned to be completed by the end of 2024.

An open-ended working group (OEWG) was established to prepare proposals for the new panel. The first session of the OEWG was held in two parts: The first part took place on 6 October 2022 in Nairobi in a hybrid format, and the resumed first session (OEWG-1.2) was held in person at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok. The discussions focused on the scope and functions of the panel.

Advocacy for a gender-responsive science-policy panel: Anna Holthaus from the MSP Institute attended OEWG-1.2 to work together with other women’s groups and feminists of the Women’s Major Group (WMG) to increase attention to the gender aspects of chemicals, waste and pollution and to the need for a gender-responsive panel. Gender-responsiveness means consciously incorporating gender considerations into the design, implementation, and outcomes of programs and policies – and the approach is used widely at the international policy level (e.g. by UNFCCC, CBD or WHO).

The Women’s Major Group submitted a written statement for OEWG1.2, and several statements were made in contact groups and during the closing plenary by our colleague Mrinalini Rai from Women4 Biodiversity and MSP-I’s Anna Holthaus. Fortunately, gender aspects were also immediately an issue in the discussions: delegates added the preparation of a gender policy and implementation plan to a list of possible documents to prepare. “Activities to ensure (…) gender-responsive participation of scientists” was mentioned in a text proposal on capacity building by the GRULAC and African regions, for further discussion. In addition, several Member States like Mexico, Brazil and Chile as well as Major Groups supported the need for a gender-responsive panel during the week.


Resumed 4th Meeting of the Intersessional Process for Considering SAICM and the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste Beyond 2020

The resumed 4th meeting of the intersessional process for considering SAICM and the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020 (IP4.2) took place in Nairobi, Kenya from February 27 to March 03, 2023 (SAICM, 2023).

Approximately 500 delegates from governments, intergovernmental organizations, industry, civil society organizations, unions, professional associations, women and gender experts and youth networks met at UNEP headquarters to continue the 4th meeting of the intersessional process that began in August 2022 in Bucharest, and to discuss further the details for a future international framework on the sound management of chemicals and waste.

The meeting made “substantial progress on implementation mechanisms for the new instrument, capacity building, stocktaking, measurability and modalities for considering new issues of concern” (ENB, 2023) and delegates also discussed resolutions to be adopted at the Fifth International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5) in September 2023. Nevertheless, important sections of the consolidated IP document needed further work before ICCM5 in order to achieve the necessary balance between the desired ambition of the new framework and the necessary resources to pursue this ambition successfully. Hence, IP4 was adjourned again and the session resumed two days before ICCM5 in Bonn.

Project visit in Kenya: Gazi’s women tackle the triple planetary crises

Being in Kenya for the SAICM IP4.2 meeting, we used the opportunity to also visit some women actors of change. In the village of Gazi, near the Tanzanian border, a group of women is taking care of the mangrove forest to protect biodiversity and climate. Since 2016, the group has been raising awareness through sustainable tourism and community outreach on their boardwalk in the mangroves. The activities are funded by several international and national organizations as well as local industry actors. However, the project has suffered setbacks in recent years, including through the COVID-19 crisis as well as plastic pollution. Now, repairing the boardwalk should support recovery: the old rotten wood is currently being replaced with recycled plastic waste material. This will help to attract tourists and to ensure lasting mangrove restoration. The project demonstrates that women are critical to addressing the triple planetary crisis, and their engagement strengthens local communities. For more information about the Gazi women and their project work, watch a short video here.


Webinar: A new chemicals framework that leaves no one behind – webinar on gender and human rights in SAICM Beyond 2020 

On the 13th of June, the MSP Institute organized a webinar together with Women4Biodiversity: A new chemicals framework that leaves no one behind. David R. Boyd (UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment), Raymond Brandes (Programme Management Officer (Gender) at UNEP), Mrinalini Rai (Director at Women4Biodiversity) and Sherika Whitelocke-Ballingsingh (informal Women and Gender at SAICM Group), presented and discussed with participants the gender and human rights considerations for a new international framework for the sound management of chemicals and waste.

You can find the recording of the webinar along with the presentation and the results from the mural board here.

Developing the Gender & Chemicals Partnership

During spring 2023, we started exploring with interested stakeholders the possibility of setting up an international, multi-stakeholder partnership on gender and chemicals. We had many individual conversations with governments, IGOs, civil society organisations and other stakeholders and learned that colleagues felt this was an interesting idea worth pursuing. A first hybrid consultation meeting was held in Geneva in June, kindly hosted by UNITAR and opened by UNITAR Executive Director Nikhil Seth. The meeting was attended by interested potential partners, and turned out to be followed by further, virtual meetings.

MSP Institute facilitated the discussions and on that basis drafted concept note and governance structure. Four interim Board members were identified: Germany, Mexico, UNITAR and ZDHC, with MSP Institute as an ex officio, fifth member of the Board as it serves as the Secretariat of the partnership.

This work also benefitted from the support by the GIZ Partnerships2030 programme which helped guide the process with background information and advice to the group.

The Gender & Chemicals Partnership – G&CP was officially launched on Sept 27, 2023, at a Special Event at ICCM5 (see below).


MSP Institute had been active in the SAICM Beyond 2020 process since 2017, and we had started convening an informal “Women and Gender at SAICM“ group since 2018. The group met at SAICM Beyond 2020 meetings and in webinars and coordination meetings online. It included women’s organisations, gender experts, governments, IGOs, scientists and others.

During the weeks before ICCM5, we supported the developed of a specific resolution on gender – organizing and facilitating the meetings, supporting the development of the text and revisions, and seeking co-sponsors. The resolution entitled “Mainstreaming a gender perspective and promoting gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls in chemicals and waste management” was submitted to ICCM5 on September 25 as a Conference Room Paper, and María Eugenia González Anaya from Mexico introduced it in plenary on the same day. It was the only resolution that received a round of heartfelt applause after it was presented, and it was the resolution with the highest number of co-sponsors that was submitted (including the whole GRULAC and African regions, many NGOs, several IGOs). It was forwarded to a contact group for consideration, went through two revisions and was the first ICCM5 resolution to be forwarded from the contact group for adoption in plenary.

At ICCM5, we organized meetings of the “Women and Gender at SAICM“ group again, including at the information booth in the exhibition area that we shared with other organisations such as WECF and HejSupport.

We participated actively in the negotiations and advocated for the inclusion of gender in the Bonn Declaration, the principles of the new Framework and its targets. We also supported the Environment Ministry’s preparations and participated in the High-Level Breakfast on Chemicals and Gender that was held on September 28, with participants from governments, IGOs, unions, industry, and civil society organisations.

ICCM5 outcomes

The 5th International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5) was held September 25-30 in Bonn, Germany. After 8 years of discussion on the future of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), the conference set a new course in global chemicals and waste management, and adopted:

· the Global Framework on Chemicals – For a Planet Free of Harm from Chemicals and Waste,

· the high-level Bonn Declaration – for a Planet Free of Harm from Chemicals and Waste,

· a set of other resolutions focused on the implementation of the framework, including a specific resolution on gender.

Gender Equality is now one principle of the new Global Framework on Chemicals, and gender considerations are included in two targets.

The Bonn Declaration – also includes reference to women and gender – it says: (2.) “(…) Chemicals often have impacts on human health, particularly that of women and children. Gender equality can support the sound management of chemicals and waste.”

The resolution on “Mainstreaming a gender perspective and promoting gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls in chemicals and waste management” requests the GFC Secretariat „with the participation of interested stakeholders, to develop a gender action plan for consideration by the Conference at its next session in order to advance towards full, equal and meaningful participation by all women in decision-making, and to promote gender‑responsive policies and mainstreaming a gender perspective in the implementation of the Global Framework on Chemicals – For a Planet Free of Harm from Chemicals and Waste, taking into account progress made in mainstreaming a gender perspective;“

ICCM6 will be held in 3 years time – in 2026. Until then, there should be a Gender Action Plan ready for consideration and adoption at the conference. But that’s not all until 2026: The resolution also encourages all stakeholders to support interim actions until then – including engaging in multi-stakeholder partnerships (like the Gender & Chemicals Partnership).

You can find all the documents regarding the ICCM5 outcomes here.

MSP Institute also organized a Special Event at ICCM5:
The Launch of the Gender & Chemicals Partnership

During the negotiations on a Global Framework on Chemicals at the 5th session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5), a new multi-stakeholder partnership was launched: the Gender and Chemicals Partnership (G&CP). In Bonn, about 25 participants joined the evening launch event on 28 September in the colourful restaurant of the World Conference Center Bonn. We thank all interim board members, partners, potential partners and interested stakeholders for this wonderful evening – and we look forward to the first joint steps and activities of the G&CP! Would you like to know more about the G&CP? Are you interested in joining the new partnership? Contact us via email:

You can find the whole report on our website.


A Gender Action Plan for the new Global Framework on Chemicals – 23rd of November 2023, 4-5.30 pm CET.

On the 23rd of November, the MSP Institute together with Mexico organized a webinar on A Gender Action Plan for the new Global Framework on Chemicals. Speakers were María Eugenia González Anaya from Mexico, Maria Delfina Cuglievan Wiese from the GFC Secretariat, and Sascha Gabizon from Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF). Speakers presented the ICCM5 resolution on gender, examples of Gender Action Plans in other international environmental policy processes, and SAICM’s gender activities to date. The discussion with participants focussed on first ideas for the structure and activities of future Gender Action plan for the Global Framework on Chemicals.

You can find the recording of the webinar along with the presentation and the results from the mural board here.


Another webinar on the Gender Action Plan for the new Global Framework on Chemicals was organized by the Secretariat and GFC Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) on Dec 5. Minu Hemmati, associate at MSP Institute, facilitated the webinar which featured presentations by Mexico, ZDHC, and the Minamata Secretariat. Presentations, recording and summary can be found here.

OEWG 2: Science-Policy Panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution

The 2nd meeting of the OEWG for the Science-Policy Panel (SPP) took place at UN Headquarters in Nairobi, Dec 11-15, preceded by an informal dialogue on Dec 9, and preparatory meetings among regions and stakeholders on Dec 10. Minu Hemmati, MSP Institute associate, attended the session, and collaborated with the Major Groups present, especially the Women’s Major Group led by Dalia Marquez and Natasha Dokovska. Statements were made during plenary sessions as well as in all contact groups. The Women’s Major Group advocated, for example, for gender balance of all bodies of the future panel, inclusion of social sciences, and consideration of gender-disaggregated data and research. We organized an informal lunch meeting with governments, IGOs, scientists and NGOs interested in gender issues in the SPP process and were very pleased to welcome over 20 participants who discussed their respective priorities. The group decided to stay in touch via email, and Minu Hemmati was asked to coordinate the communication. We hope to get together again at OEWG3 – and hopefully discuss priorities and strategies beforehand as much as possible. The experience with preparing the gender resolution for ICCM5 has shown how powerful and effective a multi-stakeholder network of colleagues can be.

Thank you and happy holidays!


For healthy people and a healthy planet we need gender-just chemicals and waste management everywhere!

We will continue to work for the integration of gender in chemicals and waste management, and look forward to working collaborate with you in 2024.

Anna, Minu, Pia and Tatiana from the MSP Institute

Newsletter – Winter 2022:

Gender and Chemicals at SAICM IP4

The MSP Institute participated in the 4th Meeting of the Intersessional Process considering the Strategic Approach and the Sound Management of Chemicals and Waste Beyond 2020 (IP4), which took place from 27th of August until 2nd of September in Bucharest, Romania. Together with other NGOs working on women and gender issues we advocated for the integration of gender in the resulting document.

Read more about our work at IP4 in our blog article.

Gender Road Map + Pilot Results

To minimise negative impacts of chemicals on people and the environment as chemical production increases, future chemicals management must take into account the needs and realities of life for all. To make this possible, the gender dimensions in national chemicals policy must be acknowledged and taken into account in practice.

Therefore we developed the Gender and Chemicals Road Map in 2021, and conducted first steps of the road map in a pilot phase in Germany in 2022, including a gender analysis + Gender Impact Assessment with regard to chemicals in building materials

You will find the pilot results as well as the Gender and Chemicals Road Map and Workbook here.

Gender Mainstreaming for Sustainable Chemistry – Side Event during HLPF

The importance of gender dimensions in chemicals management has been increasingly discussed in recent years. However, mainstreaming gender equality into sustainable chemistry concepts and
practical implementation is still in its early stages.

Therefore a side event on Gender Mainstreaming for Sustainable Chemistry was held on July 14, 2022 during the UN High-level Political Forum 2022. The event was co-hosted by the MSP Institute and the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV).

More than forty participants from different regions and stakeholder groups participated at the side event. A detailed summary and the speech of HE State Secretary Christiane Rohleder from the BMUV can be found here.

Lecturing activities, workshops and articles

In 2022 the MSP Institute contributed to the the following workshops, events and articles: 

We thank all organizers for the opportunity to raise awareness of the interlinkages of gender and chemicals!

Further publications and informational material:

Our new information video on youtube: “The gender lens – for a new perspective in chemicals management”

Publication by SAICM/IPEN (2022): Women Leaders: Addressing Chemicals and Waste Issues.

Thank you and happy holidays!
For healthy people and a healthy planet we need a gender-just chemicals and waste policies!
We will continue to advocate for the integration of gender in chemicals management in 2023, and will keep you informed.

Anna and Minu from the MSP Institute