In October of 1990 women from around the globe joined forces to make their voices heard. Their plan was to collectively break through the previously male dominated dialogue and become key players in “policy-making on environmental and developmental issues” where women were previously “invisible”. Among these women were leading environmentalists Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement; Claire Greensfelder of the Earth Institute in California; Vandana Shiva of India and Bella Abzug, founder of the Women’s Environment and Development Organization.

At that time, the New York Times followed a historic 4 day meeting where 50 women met at the United Nations Church Center to establish a worldwide network for bringing their agenda into the environmental debate. This meeting was the impetus and foundation for a new organization to represent women’s views. A few months later, in 1991, the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) was legally established.

This article is one of the first chronicles in a not so distant past, where women’s international diplomatic presence was weak and a few strong souls had the inspiration to change the world. It sets the stage for WEDO’s story, formed out of passion and unity for change and sustained through the advocacy and leadership of a network of groundbreaking women activists. Click here to read!

join the movement

Women and girls around the world are demanding and creating systemic change and a sustainable future for all. We need collective power to attain a just future – we need you.