The buzz is everywhere: from the New York Times to the United Nations, and on every social media channel in between, women’s environmental leadership is gaining recognition on the world stage. We’re seeing women around the globe taking action to ensure a safe, healthy world for their great grand-children and beyond. Women are marching against toxic and nuclear pollution, defending the earth in the courtroom and boardroom, and singing, dancing and creating art for peace and sustainability. Alongside men, and for the good of their families and communities, women of all ages and backgrounds are creatively demanding a shift in worldwide environmental policies and practices.
Five years ago, in response to this unmistakable trend, 30 women came together in Mexico City to realize their dreams of a sustainable future. Young and elder women from Haiti, Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Israel and Palestine, Mexico, India, Kenya, and 18 other nations united for a three-day in-depth conversation about the unique needs of grassroots women environmental activists in their struggles and campaigns. These 30 women asked themselves: what would happen if we and our allies had access to all the resources, networks, and opportunities required to fully protect our families and lands?
In answer to that powerful question, a visionary global initiative was born. Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA) is an international non-profit organization creating innovative solutions to issues of water, food, land and climate through collaborative initiatives that train, connect, and empower grassroots women leaders. On its fifth birthday, Women’s Earth Alliance celebrates our shared achievements supporting women to ensure access to safe drinking water and build resilience to climate change in Africa; promote climate resilience and sustainable organic agriculture in India; and protect the sacred lands of Indigenous communities in North America from fossil fuel development.
We’re proud to work with Ghanaian women like Florence Iddrisu and Fulera Mumuni who returned home from our 2010 Africa Women and Water Training to construct a rainwater harvesting system at the local high school, limiting female students’ exposure to the dangers and drudgery of walking for water. We’re proud of our advocacy collaborations with Navajo women like Wahleah Johns and Nicole Horseherder, towards a utility-scale solar energy installation at a sacred mountain on the Navajo Nation called Black Mesa – which is also home to one of the nation’s largest coal strip mines. And we’re proud to support Indian women like Ram Ratti, who has practiced sustainable farming methods in her farm for the past 10 years and is now a leading voice on the impacts of climate change on Indian women farmers.
We know that we can only succeed when we come together, when we share, when we amplify women’s voices and create solutions based on women’s wisdom about their own communities and lands. We know that when we support the women who have already dedicated their lives to preserving the earth, real change takes root and flourishes. We want to make sure that these incredible, visionary women leaders have access to all that they need to stand strong and rise ever higher.
But we can’t do it alone. Women’s Earth Alliance is ultimately about women everywhere discovering their own power to make a difference, and then coming together to use that power for the good of the earth. In the face of mounting resource crises and increasingly frequent natural calamities, and with ever-greater impacts of climate change looming, the need for women’s practical, compassionate, and innovative leadership only grows. So as we celebrate and honor our mothers this Sunday, we can also honor the earth that sustains us, and pledge to do our best to preserve and protect this shared home.
For an easy way to support Women’s Earth Alliance, the environment, and fair trade, visit Josie Maran’s Argan Oil campaign page, scroll down, and click the “Like” button to donate $1 to our work!
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