FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 1, 2017
‘Women Speak: Stories, Case Studies And Solutions
From The Frontlines Of Climate Change’ Launches Globally
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, Calif. (November 1, 2017) – A new online research and storytelling database, ‘Women Speak: Stories, Case Studies And Solutions From The Frontlines Of Climate Change’, has gone live around the world on November 1st, 2017, and will be highlighted throughout a November launch month as a critical tool for frontline leaders, policy makers, journalists, activists, educators, students, and all those seeking to understand and demonstrate why and how women are paramount to just action on climate change.
The ‘Women Speak: Stories, Case Studies And Solutions From The Frontlines Of Climate Change’ database and initiative has been designed and compiled by the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International in order to shift the narrative on how we achieve an equitable and sustainable world - through the collection and sharing of hundreds, and ultimately many thousands of stories by and about global women leaders working in areas such as forest and biodiversity protection; fossil fuel resistance efforts; ecologic agriculture and land rights protection; renewable energy implementation; climate law and policy; education and grassroots movement building; and much more.
The database responds to an urgent need, identified by WECAN International and many diverse groups worldwide, for a compilation of qualitative evidence, and a readily accessible and ever-growing repository of examples of women’s actions for climate justice and solutions.
Despite the fact that women are impacted first and worst by climate change, and have proven to be central to successful climate solutions and policies, the voice and rights of women often continue to be suppressed and ignored. As CNN and Media Matters have reported, only 15% of those interviewed in the media on climate change have been women.
The press is invited to explore the Women Speak database- www.wecaninternational.org/womenspeak and to reach out with questions and media requests.
Diverse spokeswomen are available for interviews to provide further analysis on the database, and the importance of women’s work to address global social and ecologic crises. Leaders and global allies of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network share their thoughts below.
“The Women Speak project is rooted in a climate justice framework, and seeks to provide a vision going forward towards a world of justice and respect for the Earth and all peoples. Through the countless stories shared within Women Speak, WECAN seeks to highlight on-the ground solutions, strategies and worldviews of global women leaders, so that they can be shared, replicated, upscaled and used for inspiration in our collective work to expose and transform the root causes of the climate crisis - including patriarchy, colonialism, inequality, disconnection from the Earth, and dysfunctional economic and political systems that depend on extraction and endless growth on a finite planet. Women are demonstrating every day that they have unique and essential ideas and skills to offer at this turning point in history, and we hope the Women Speak database will be an effective, useful and ever-growing platform to show the power and diversity of women’s solutions for climate justice.” explains Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, and originator of the ‘Women Speak’ project.
"Now, more than ever humanity needs the distinctive guidance of women to solve the climate crisis. We are in this debacle to a great extent because we have not utilized the full benefit of the leadership, ideas, the creativity of women. Women leaders focus on empowering those around them, embracing a decision-making process that taps into the entire talent pool and not that of just half the population." explains Thilmeeza Hussain, Former Deputy Ambassador to the UN from the Maldives, and leader with Climate Wise Women and Voice of Women, Maldives
“The work and visions of women leaders is vital, as we can see in the actions of the women in my region of the mountains of eastern Congo, where women are working so hard to change the paradigm regarding climate change in our country, which affects climate change around the whole world. Women leaders have created four tree nurseries and are planting many hectares of land each year. We do our work with our bare hands and carry the new trees in buckets on our heads to the planting zones surrounding our villages. Our main goal in re-foresting our area is to protect the old growth forest still remaining, and plant new trees to add to our forest’s ability to sequester carbon, while also providing new sources for fuelwood and building timber. We Congolese women are taking our stewardship of the world’s second largest rainforest seriously. We have learned that without trees, we have no future. We hope our voices and actions can be heard, and can inspire other global women to take action for their communities and the Earth.” explains Neema Namadamu, Director of SAFECO & WECAN DRC Coordinator, Democratic Republic of Congo
"Women in the Himalayas are crucial - with their immense wisdom, traditional knowledge, experience, and incredible hard work contributing to everyone’s survival in these remote, threatened and immensely valuable ecosystems, which are the water towers of the Earth, and makers of climate for much of South Asia. But women are still suffering the worst and are the last beneficiaries of any change. They are the mainstay of the work, but are nowhere in decision making. Climate change policy will be incomplete without including the women in the Himalayan communities - and with the survival of people and Himalaya at stake, this has to change. We need to hear women's voices and learn from their solutions." explains Dr. Reetu Sogani, Honorary Program Director, Chintan International Trust; Development practitioner, researcher, and adviser on gender, traditional knowledge, food and nutrition security, climate change, India
"Women around the world are joining this global movement to lead transformational solutions to bring energy justice and climate change solutions to those are most vulnerable to the consequences of inaction. My work has taught me that we must democratize light - as much for peace and security, as for the shared future of humanity and our planet. Each Solar Sister is a living testimony that when women lead grassroots green economies - everyone benefits – they emerge as respected pioneers of sustainable prosperity, communities thrive and young girls and boys look up to inspiring role models of women taking the power in their own hands. We know a bright future is possible for all people, and we will continue to build the bridges to raise women's voices and action for climate solutions. This is the biggest untapped renewable energy of the world - women power!" explains Neha Misra, Co-Founder and Chief Collaboration Officer at Solar Sister
Photo download - Women leaders in the Democratic Republic of Congo work to reforest the Itombwe region as a part of WECAN/SAFECO program - Photo by: Stany Nzabas
About The Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International
The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN International) is a solutions-based, multi-faceted organization established to engage women worldwide as powerful stakeholders in climate change, climate justice, and sustainability solutions. WECAN International was founded in 2013 as a project of the 501(c)3 Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus (WECC) organization.