What links are there between gender, consumption and sustainable lifestyles? Are the 'lifestyles' and consumption patterns of Swedish women (and those internationally) a function of the greater responsibility they take for unpaid domestic and reproductive work? This paper argues that a model of welfare in which gender equality is given greater attention would leave a smaller ecological footprint than the present one. It would also provide better access to goods and services adapted to the needs of both women and men, children and the elderly. To-date, there have been very few studies on the links between gender, lifestyle, consumption and sustainable development in Sweden. Greater research is required to provide a gendered understanding of production and consumption patterns. These should include an analysis of factors including: established gender roles, the division of unpaid and paid labour, gender-based rights, mobility, participation in public life, income and ownership. It should also investigate gendered perceptions and priorities regarding welfare and lifestyle. Future studies of sustainable production and consumption should aim to inform strategic action to address the imbalance between excessive consumption by the rich (especially rich men) and unacceptably low consumption by the poor (especially poor women).
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