WEDO works to ensure women are empowered as decision-makers and leaders, especially in environmental and sustainable development arenas.
Across sectors and movements, WEDO has witnessed firsthand the power of women’s organizing and leadership for change – particularly in protecting and promoting a healthy, peaceful planet. Empowering women as leaders – from the personal and local to the highest decision-making levels – to advance gender equality and protect and promote a sustainable planet is a critical part of WEDO’s work.
WEDO joins in partnership with women’s organizations, networks, grassroots groups and activists, UN bodies and IGOs, government Ministries, parliamentarians, congresswomen and men, Heads of State and global thought leaders including academics and Nobel Laureates to promote women’s leadership. Across civil society, WEDO champions the vitality, diversity and influence of women’s organizing and movements – irreplaceable momentum toward justice and equality. And because WEDO’s goal is gender equality, WEDO proudly collaborates with men – some steadfast allies already and some seeking support to be able to become gender equality champions – toward the betterment of society as a whole.
WEDO works to ensure sustainable development policies, plans and practices are gender responsive. Sustainable development – commonly understood as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own need – is ecologically sound, economically viable, and socially just, and gender equality is prerequisite to it. Interdependent crises of food, fuel and climate – exacerbated by inequitable and fragile economies and social norms – need holistic attention and solutions. To that end, WEDO works to strengthen alliances between the women’s, environmental and development movements, across sectors, and across North and South.
Central to its overall vision, sustainable development has long been a cornerstone of WEDO’s mandate. Having been founded specifically to influence the 1992 Earth Summit (UNCED), WEDO has remained focused on strategic advocacy at critical global sustainable development fora, including at the Rio Conventions, the Commission on Sustainable Development, and Rio+20 and its follow-up, as well as national-level processes in several partner countries.
One of the most urgent issues on the global agenda, climate change remains a top priority for WEDO’s advocacy, capacity building, information sharing and other efforts to link gender equality and sustainable development.
WEDO works to ensure global governance is transparent, accountable and effective.
Since its founding, WEDO has believed in the potential of, and indeed the necessity for, good global governance. The United Nations has played – and still must play – a strong role in facilitating governments’ agreements and holding them accountable to their commitments. As a result of decades of multi-level, multi-stakeholder action, global legal frameworks for the promotion of human rights, gender equality and environmental sustainability exist. These frameworks provide tools for officials, practitioners and activists to draft and implement sustainable national-level policies, programs and practices. Focused on the interlinkages and interdependence of its priority issues, WEDO works to uphold existing legal frameworks and support governments, civil society partners and UN agencies alike in turning words into action.
Civil society access to and participation in global decision-making fora is a critical part of good global governance. From UN processes at headquarters, to meaningful engagement and partnership with country offices, WEDO supports information-sharing between and engagement of non-governmental voices. Visit the “Civil Society Participation” page for more on this work.