From Sudan to the Philippines, from Ecuador to France, women raised their voices collectively to show resistance to social and environmental injustice and to present their solutions and demands for a healthy, livable planet.
In Port Harcourt, Nigeria women organized the ‘African Women Uniting for Energy, Food, & Climate Justice Exchange’, during which they shared struggles and solutions around oil extraction in the Niger delta and led a march through the city. In Swaziland, women united to sign the Women’s Climate Declaration and dialogue about why women experience disproportionate climate impacts and what can be done to address this injustice.
In Scotland, women collected trash from the beach and ocean to create an art installation highlighting the plight of threatened Arctic ecosystems. In Odisha, India, women united to speak out against deforestation fueled by the mining industry, taking direct action by planting trees and writing a memorandum to local government officials calling for communitywide reforestation programs led by women. Many worldwide participants voiced their demands for their governments to keep fossil fuels in the ground and immediately finance a just transition to 100% renewable energy.
Action recaps, photos, and statements from worldwide participants have been compiled on a central Day of Action gallery, from which they are being shared and amplified across the globe.
While women held decentralized actions in their communities, WECAN International convened a September 29th hub event, ‘Women Speak: Climate Justice on the Road to Paris & Beyond’ at the United Nations Church Center in New York City, directly across the street from where world leaders gathered for the annual United Nations General Assembly.
The event featured presentations and declarations of action by outstanding leaders including Indigenous activist and Greenpeace Canada campaigner Melina Laboucan-Massismo, May Boeve of 350.org, Jacqui Patterson of the NAACP, Patricia Gualinga, Kichwa leader of Sarayaku Ecuador, Thilmeeza Hussein of Voice of Women Maldives, and a special video message from Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and President of the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice. The event concluded with a historic announcement and presentation of the ‘Indigenous Women of the North and South – Defend Mother Earth Treaty Compact 2015’.
As the day drew to a close, WECAN International and allies united for a direct action outside of the United Nations Headquarters.
“Women around the world are well aware that what is happening in the ‘halls of power’ is not nearly enough given the degree of climate crisis that we face and the injustices and impacts felt by women on the frontlines across the globe,” explained Osprey Orielle Lake, Founder and Executive Director of the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, “On September 29th, women across the world mobilized for bold, transformative climate change solutions and demonstrated the strength, diversity, and vitality of the women’s movement for climate justice. Women have always been on the frontlines of climate change, and now we are taking action to make sure that our voices and decision-making power are at the forefront as well. The stories, struggles, and solutions shared as part of the Global Women’s Climate Justice Day of Action will be carried forward to COP21 in Paris and beyond.”
The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN International) is a solutions-based, multi-faceted effort established to engage women worldwide as powerful stakeholders in climate change, climate justice, and sustainability solutions. Recent work includes the 2013 International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit, Women’s Climate Declaration, and WECAN Women’s Climate Action Agenda. International climate advocacy is complemented with on-the-ground programs such as the Women’s for Forests and Fossil Fuel/Mining/Mega Dam Resistance, US Women’s Climate Justice Initiative, and Regional Climate Solutions Trainings in the Middle East North Africa region, Latin America, and Democratic Republic of Congo. WECAN International was founded in 2013 as a project of the 501(c)3Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus (WECC) organization and its partner eraGlobal Alliance.