WHY WOMEN ARE KEY
Women have unique and essential ideas to offer at this turning point in history when humanity is making decisions about our very existence and how we are treating our Earth–and each other.
On the ground level, providing support to women benefits entire communities and society overall. United Nations studies show us that worldwide, when women are empowered, local economies improve, populations stabilize, and children’s health and education improve.
In many countries, women get out the vote and vote more often. It has been shown that women are an essential component — and in some cases the main one — in peace-making. Concerning the environment, women are the main recyclers in the home, and often decide how the family income is spent. Women are responsible for half of the world’s food production and produce between 60-80% of the food in most developing countries.
Women as a constituency are a relatively untapped and potentially strategic force for helping to make the societal changes we need for a clean energy future. For instance, women in North America now control over half of the wealth and are behind 80 percent of all consumer purchases. These points of leverage are often not recognized, supported or mobilized into action.
At the same time, we need to address the fact that Indigenous women and women from low-income communities and developing countries bear a heavier burden from the impacts of climate change because they are more reliant upon natural resources for their survival and/or live in areas that have poor infrastructure, which makes their communities particularly vulnerable. Drought, flooding, and unpredictable temperatures present difficult challenges for women that are responsible for providing food, water and firewood for their families.
We have been deeply touched by the remarkable efforts of women around the world who care for their families and communities under extreme environmental hardships and injustices. We imagine what can happen if these women garner support and a seat at decision-making tables. Our goal at IWECI is to ensure this.
We believe that women leaders of NGO’s, grassroots organizations, business and local and national governments can make a major contribution by developing new levels of cooperation to exercise the “applied feminine” – caring for the Earth and for future generations. These are the hallmarks of women as powerful change agents for creating a sustainable and just world.