The world's largest conservation organization added a new component today to the annual celebration of International Women Day. For the first time, IUCN-The World Conservation Union is incorporating gender equality into the battle against global warming.
Around the world International Women Day was marked with events focused on ending violence against women and girls and recognizing the contributions of females to human well-being and environmental protection. IUCN Director General Julia Marton-Lefevre said, "If we are to be successful in addressing one of the most challenging environmental and social issues of our time – climate change – we must incorporate a gender perspective in this work." When swift environmental changes and natural disasters come along, she pointed out, it is the women who are poor and landless yet responsible for food production, health and safety of their families and communities are the most vulnerable.
The IUCN today recognized 23 women for their outstanding efforts to combat global warming. From Australia, China, Cameroon, Canada, Fiji, Germany, India, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sudan, Sweden, Tuvalu, and the United States, these women are scientists, activists, community developers, politicians, lawyers, and educators. They have in common a dedication to releasing the planet and the human community from the bonds of environmental degradation, poverty and global warming.