CWL is delighted to share with you this week a report from Women Deliver – one of, if not the largest women’s conference in the world — convened for the first time on the African continent!
More than 6,500 women (and a few good men) traveled to Rwanda, a country with the largest representation of women in government – more than 60% of the Parliament and two-thirds of the cabinet ministers. Many of them were present at Women Deliver, along with women and youth leaders from nearly every country.
We were honored to participate in a plenary panel -- one of the first themed around women in climate at Women Deliver ever -- that sought to build out solutions, share key recommendations, and marshal collective action towards climate justice. Together with CWL Co-Founder Hafsat Abiola, CWL Member and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, and Ugandan Climate Justice Activist Vanessa Nakate, we explored the profound connections between gender equality and climate change, delving into the ways in which these issues intersect and impact one another.
We were affirmed that we need a next generation women-led movement that creates connections between all those doing good work that is still largely being carried out in silos. We need to unify and work together to strengthen, amplify and scale these efforts. We also need to attract more funding as less than 2% of philanthropic investment capital is currently going to women-led climate solutions. Partly, this is because of a lack of awareness of the important work women are leading everywhere – but especially on the continent of Africa.
Connected Women Leaders also had the opportunity to host a philanthropic breakfast gathering at Nature Kigali, a woman-run B&B in the heart of Kigali, Rwanda. We shared in community with these 25 women leaders and discussed Project Dandelion, Connected Women Leaders' first women-led, global campaign for climate justice.
As Mary shared during the breakfast,
We have all the data and statistics, but they don't move people. People are moved from the heart. This is where women come in.
But no one region or one country or one extraordinary community of leaders can take us forward to the potentially better times ahead. This will take every one of us getting engaged; committing to doing our part; however small or big; and stepping up to demand that our leaders take the actions necessary to claim the future that is possible.
We can do this. And we will deliver!