IUCN Celebration of International Women's Day

08 March 2008 | News story

This year, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, IUCN is celebrating gender equity and equality in the environmental sector through recognition of male colleagues who support women's empowerment and announcing the international initiative of the Women Environmental Entrepreneurs Fair during the World Conservation Congress.

Dear Colleagues and friends,

This year on the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8 March IUCN is celebrating gender equity and equality in the environmental sector through recognition of male colleagues who have realized that gender relations are not always fair to women and strive to create more equitable societies. These men are real warriors empowering women to participate in environmental initiatives, to make visible their inputs to conservationist efforts and to poverty reduction.

The gender equity and equality approach means analyzing and understanding, the different roles and responsibilities, the levels and quality of participation in decision making, the needs and visions of women and men. It is precisely thanks to gender-sensitive initiatives in the environmental sector that it has been possible to identify that men and women experience poverty in a differentiated way, that their contributions are both valuable and crucial to environmental conservation and that sustainable development can be achieved when they are actively participating.

IUCN recognizes that gender equity and equality, or “creating fair opportunities according to gender differentiated needs, will require measures to redress the historical and social disadvantages experienced by women” (IUCN Gender Policy). Subsequently, this year at the World Conservation Congress, we will be launching the International Women Environmental Entrepreneurs Fair.

The Fair will present the contributions of women entrepreneurs to poverty reduction and to the promotion of sustainable development, in order for these entrepreneurial efforts to be valued and enhanced at national and international events. The Fair targets the female business sector that works with biodegradable products and sound use of biodiversity resources (i.e. non timber products, medicinal plants, land and marine fauna), recycling of wastes and sustainable tourism, among others.

We encourage women and men warriors worldwide supporting women’s entrepreneurial initiatives to send us their contributions for the fair so we can display at the Congress the entrepreneurial spirit of women who care for the environment.

IUCN hopes that by carrying out this, and many other, international initiatives in all parts of the world, we will shorten the time to achieve equitable societies in which women and men live in harmony with nature.

Best regards,

Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General                                                          Lorena Aguilar,  Senior Gender Adviser