“Change is not about simply mainstreaming women. It’s not about women joining the polluted stream. It’s about cleaning the stream, changing stagnant pools into fresh, flowing waters.” – Bella Abzug


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 at the grassroots level, women were leading the struggle to protect forests and rivers, biodiversity and land. Over the last 25 years, WEDO has held governments accountable to their commitments, raised awareness of emerging issues and identified new solutions to global challenges by closely following and engaging in international processes. By connecting the dots between people and policy across regions, WEDO makes transformative change possible.



United Nations Framework Convention on 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”.

As an observer to the UNFCCC and a member of the Women and Gender Constituency, WEDO often provides technical expertise from a gender and justice perspective in a variety of ways including through writing interventions and submissions. WEDO also actively follows the Green Climate Fund, created under the UNFCCC.


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. So 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. The role of the Women’s Major Group is to facilitate effective public participation of women’s non-governmental groups in the UN policy processes, including High-level Political Forum (HLPF), related to Sustainable Development and Agenda 2030. The HLPF is the United Nations central platform for follow-up and review of the Agenda.


UN Habitat

Habitat III was the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development which took place in Quito, Ecuador from 17 – 20 October 2016. The final outcome document of Habitat III, the “New Urban Agenda” was agreed on the 20th October 2016.

The objectives of the Conference are to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable urban development. Urbanization is associated with high economic output and wealth creation but also deep economic divisions and entrenched gender inequalities that keep wealth in the hands of the few; with high emissions and energy usage but strong mitigation and efficiency potential; with immense opportunity for creativity but dangers of ‘locking in’ unsustainable, inequitable or obsolete infrastructure (energy, transport etc).

WEDO is a lead partner of the World Urban Campaign and engages with the Huiarou Commission network.


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 Women’s Human Rights Caucus to strategize on moving work forward on implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda. 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.

The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

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.

WEDO, as the focal point for the Women and Gender Constituency 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.

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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.