Press Release: Global Launch of the Tackling Toxics documentary & publication 

Toxic Chemicals are all around us, but they don’t impact everybody in the same way or to the same extent. Women waste workers in Kenya for example, face heavy and specific health complications from living and working on one of the world’s largest dumpsites. Unfortunately, we don’t know exactly how harmful these practices are, because data is lacking.  

Sascha Gabizon, WECF: “As part of our study for the Convention Secretariat (BRS) I have met with many women waste pickers that are working in toxic fumes from open burning of plastic waste, amongst others, and they gave evidence of their bad health situation. We need to protect informal workers such as these women waste pickers from toxic chemicals. And we need to support them to transition into safe and healthy jobs. That is what our documentary and publication are showing, what good practices exist already in Kenya and Tunisia”. 

On behalf of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions secretariat – tasked with protecting human health and the environment from hazardous chemicals and waste – three expert organizations set out on a scoping study in Kenya and Tunisia. CEJAD Kenya, AEEFG Tunisia and WECF International sought to answer three key questions: 

  • How is women and men’s health impacted differently by hazardous chemicals and waste? 
  • How do women and men’s occupations and roles at home and at work influence their exposure to hazardous chemicals and waste? 
  • What best practices with women and men’s leadership exist to substitute and eliminate hazardous chemicals and waste? 

Semia Gharbi, AEEFG:Reducing gender inequalities requires an integrated approach to value and increase women’s decision-making and economic equality. Our projects in Tunisia have shown women to change for the better by protecting themselves from contamination by toxic chemicals once they are aware of the risks and costs. The publication demonstrates good practices of rural women entrepreneurs and cooperatives that are converting to ecological alternatives, such as plastic-free alternatives for their products, banning pesticides and creating eco-guesthouses for tourism development.” 

Read the publication here: Gender, Chemicals and Waste – Scoping Study Kenya & Tunisia – WECF 

Complementary to the scoping study, a documentary was produced in Kenya: Tackling Toxics 


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Griffins Ochieng, CEJAD: “Kenya has anchored gender equality in its constitution, and as Centre for Environment Justice and Development, we are working with government and stakeholders on making sure our policies to reduce harmful chemicals and waste are gender-just and promote women leadership in a transition to green and non-toxic economy. We are on the right path, as the documentary for BRS shows, but there is still a lot of work to do!” 

At the COP (Conference of Parties) of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions that are taking place in Geneva, the new documentary and training film and accompanying publication are being launched and presented to the government delegations 

Together we can make sure that all people live and work in an environment that is free from toxic chemicals and discrimination.  

Join the conversation by using the hashtag #TacklingToxics 

For further questions or information, please contact:
Sascha Gabizon, Women Engage for a Common Future, WECF International –
Griffins Ochieng, Centre for Environment Justice and Development, CEJAD Kenya –
Semia Gharbi, Association for Environmental Education of Future Generations, AEEFG Tunisia

For media enquiries please contact: 

Rebecca Heuvelmans, WECF International – Tel: +491728637586 and +31619934981