WEDO’s global policy work is centered on caucus-building: creating spaces inside policy processes and movements where feminists and women’s rights activists can build joint agendas. By connecting the dots between people and policy across regions, WEDO makes transformative change possible.

Demanding a just and sustainable future across policy spaces

Gender equality has been recognized as intrinsic to peace and justice since the founding of the United Nations (UN), but challenges to achieve the same have remained strong within UN negotiations. WEDO was formed when it became clear that women’s voices were missing in the sustainability agenda—even though they were leading the struggle to protect forests and rivers, biodiversity and land.

Our work in collective

Over its 30-year history, WEDO has worked to bring feminist and environmental justice analyses into—and center the voices of frontline and grassroots women’s rights advocates and leaders in—global and national policy dialogues. WEDO’s work is centered on caucus-building: creating spaces inside policy processes and movements where feminists and women’s rights activists can build joint agendas, map entry points and intersections and voice demands in collective. WEDO coordinates women’s rights caucuses in international policy spaces like the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and builds coalitions around the gender dimensions of environmental issues, such as forest degradation, land ownership, biodiversity loss, and disaster risk reduction.

Feminist Foreign Policy (FFP)

In addition to engaging in existing policy processes, WEDO also works to reimagine policy frameworks in order to have people at the heart. One potential pathway for climate justice is advancing the principles of Feminist Foreign Policy (FFP)a policy approach that promotes gender equality and women’s human rights as well as environmental integrity, while addressing systemic and historical injustices. WEDO Executive Director Bridget Burns serves on the Steering Committee of the Global Partner Network for Feminist Foreign Policy and the Coalition for a Feminist Foreign Policy in the United States.


United Nations Climate Change (UNFCCC)

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental treaty negotiated at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992, then entered into force on 21 March 1994. The UNFCCC objective is to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”

WEDO is part of, and a co-focal point for, the Women’s and Gender Constituency (WGC)—one of the official observer groups to the UNFCCC processes. In this role WEDO often provides technical expertise from a gender and justice perspective in a variety of ways, including through providing collective strategizing spaces; writing interventions and submissions; and providing capacity strengthening through the Women Delegates Fund. WEDO also actively follows the Green Climate Fund, created under the UNFCCC.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The post-2015 development agenda is now the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 25 September 2015.

The 2030 Agenda forms the new global development framework anchored around 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a total of 169 targets covering economic, social development, and environmental protection. It will determine where political and financial resources are concentrated in the coming decades; as a result, it must be shaped, implemented and monitored by the people whose lives will be impacted by those choices.

WEDO is an Organizing Partner of the Women’s Major Group, whose role is to facilitate effective public participation of feminist non-governmental groups in the UN policy processes related to sustainable development. This includes the annual High-level Political Forum (HLPF)—the United Nations’ central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda. Learn more about the Women’s Major Group here.

Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The CSW is instrumental in promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women.

WEDO is proud to work with the Women’s Major Group and in the CSW-focused Women’s Rights Caucus to strategize on moving work forward at the intersection of gender, climate and environmental justice. Further, WEDO has been a global trainer in the CSW Advocacy Trainings for a number of years, as well as a contributor to the NGO CSW Advocacy Guide.

United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)

The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) takes place every two years and is the world’s foremost gathering on reducing disaster risk and building the resilience of communities and nations.

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 was developed as a key agreement that provides Member States with actions to protect development gains from disaster risk. During 2023, the Mid Term Review of the Sendai Framework is to take stock of the implementation to date, to assess progress made and challenges experienced in preventing and reducing disaster risk.

As a co-convener of the Women and Gender Stakeholder Group under UNDRR, WEDO facilitates meaningful participation of women’s groups and other organizations and social movements interested in and working on disaster risk reduction, climate change, development and humanitarian issues and the interlinkages with women, women’s rights, gender equality and diversity, in disaster risk reduction (DRR) processes at the United Nations.

Join the Stakeholder Group by filling out this form.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF)

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is the biggest public fund dedicated to climate change and the flagship fund for implementing the Paris agreement. WEDO is an active member of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Observer Network of Civil Society Organizations, Indigenous Peoples, and local communitieswhich advocates for more equitable and gender-responsive policy frameworks. Through the network, WEDO contributes to the development of policy positions, analyzes funding proposals, and communicates these positions to GCF board members.

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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.