COP26 made it clear that UN climate negotiations are still primarily dominated by men, with women making up only a fraction of the diplomatic force. The distinct vulnerability of women to climate change was widely acknowledged, but women from the most vulnerable countries were not present at the decision-making levels. However, there are women-led organizations all around the world that are working to implement climate solutions and empower women to become leaders in their communities. These five projects below are just a few examples of how supporting women-led environmental projects can play a key role in addressing climate change.
Driving the clean energy transition in India
India is one of the top producers of greenhouse gas emissions and women in the country are largely underrepresented in business due to various socio-cultural barriers. The program supports women business leaders across India in developing their energy access ideas. The project is designed to build skills and to ensure that women entrepreneurs have the confidence and adequate knowledge to benefit from support programs available.
Teaching agroecology in West Africa
Women manage 70% of smallholder agriculture in Africa, conserving native seeds, caring for livestock, processing food, and selling at local markets. Yet, there remains a food crisis in many of the regions. is a campaign led by rural women in West Africa with the vision of restoring knowledge of ancestral food production, land stewardship, and providing nutritious food to those in need. The campaign organizes workshops, forums, and community radio broadcasts to bring its message to rural communities. It also supports the purchasing of farms where the land is collectively managed.
Scaling climate resilience in Indonesia
In Indonesia, climate impacts are already being felt, and women bear the brunt of these effects. empowers local women to protect their communities and ecosystems from environmental and climate threats like palm oil extraction, plastic pollution, and sea-level rise. Through a 4-month training program, women leaders work in interconnected sectors of forest and coastal ecosystem protection, land rights, Indigenous and local wisdom, gender equity, and movement building.
Propagating native plants and Indigenous ecological practices in the Mississippi Delta
South Louisiana has been subjected to a century of oil and gas extraction, which has greatly diminished its biodiversity and affected the local Indigenous’ way of life. Through a project partnered with , women from the Houma Nation aim to increase biodiversity, climate resiliency, and human health and well-being in the area. By growing native plants and trees, creating local medicines, and revitalizing traditional ecological practices, an income stream will be provided for participants and will create sustainable food supply lines and food security in the region.
Achieving food sovereignty for farmers in Central America
Rampant development has endangered Mayan territories, threatened food sovereignty, and is driving many small farms out of the region. , Desarrollo Económico y Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas, is an organization committed to the economic and social development of Indigenous Mexicans. The project works to improve the livelihoods of rural populations and defend the rights of small farmers, most of which are women. Through eight agroecology centers, 200 communities have gained knowledge such as native seed saving, soil conservation, crop diversification, and the use of traditional fertilizers.
Research has shown that women are the most vulnerable to the effects of global temperature rise, and empowering them is . Yet, less than 0.2% of foundation dollars go to supporting women-led initiatives. You can help change that by making a donation to support these amazing projects. Visit the One Earth Project Marketplace to learn more about these and other women-led projects that need support.