We are incredibly proud to announce that Women for Conservation has been chosen as an official member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)! The IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest environmental network, uniting more than 1,400 government and non-governmental organizations and more than 18,000 experts in over 170 countries. This membership will build W4C’s global credibility and capacity through association with this international alliance of scientists and policy makers.
Women for Conservation’s IUCN membership is an especially important achievement, given that female environmental leaders have been traditionally excluded from decision making spaces. A testimony to the absence of women in climate discussions was highlighted by a study showing that at the IUCN 2021 World Conservation Congress in Marseille, only 3 out of 127 motions even mentioned gender equality issues. This is especially upsetting since women face disproportionate hardships due to climate challenges. Our membership in the IUCN will allow Women for Conservation to advocate for women’s empowerment in conservation on a global stage.
Women for Conservation has been working with women’s empowerment in conservation initiatives since it was founded in 2004. Our leadership team attended the 2021 IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille, where we signed the Gender and Biodiversity manifesto. We attended this congress to advocate for gender equality issues to be recognized as an essential element of nature conservation work. Our new IUCN membership gives us a platform to network with conservation leaders from around the globe to find solutions to pressing environmental challenges through women’s empowerment initiatives.
We are incredibly grateful to our conservation community, whose support has allowed us to empower thousands of rural people in critical conservation initiatives. We cannot thank you enough for your steadfast support, and look forward to sharing more successes with you as our movement continues to grow!