Women are planning to make their mark in Rio in June 2012.
The Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) was founded 20 years ago in the lead-up to the first Rio Earth Summit. Initially driven by women organizing for change, we have been working ever since to protect human rights, women’s rights and advance gender equality, because we recognize them as integral pieces to sustainable development and to improving the lives of women and men. Now is the time to assess progress, renew commitments and take bold steps. As we approach Rio+20 in June, WEDO is proud to work as part of the Women’s Major Group, advocating for a future that is truly sustainable and providing avenues and spaces for women’s voices to be heard.
In just 7 weeks, the eyes of the world will be on Rio de Janeiro, where one of the largest international conferences ever will take place to determine the future of our planet. The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, will influence global progress for decades, as it addresses society, environment and economy — the 3 interlinked dimensions of sustainable development. Women are already leading the way toward a just and sustainable world in every corner of the globe. From ensuring access to potable water, to starting sustainable energy cooperatives, to writing national policy on social safeguards, to negotiating an international climate agreement, women are taking action.
The Women’s Major Group for Rio+20 is a civil society network of organizations and individuals that are actively bringing a gender perspective to the social, environmental, and economic dimensions of the UN Rio+20 conference. We want to include the voices, perspectives and expertise of as many people as possible. In February 2012, we launched a survey in English, Spanish, and French on SurveyMonkey to reach the many women, men and organizations that are unable to participate in global meetings, but who are working daily on critical issues related to water, forests, biodiversity, food security, health, energy, climate change, oceans, justice, rights and access to resources.
Through the survey, we want to capture the views of women and men around the world and learn the priorities and challenges that people are facing. We want to know if people have seen progress since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. The results from the survey will be incorporated into recommendations for the conference outcomes that go directly to governments, including Heads of State in Rio. The results will also inform our advocacy and be part of statements, interviews and even suggestions on the negotiating text. All the efforts are to ensure that Rio+20 makes true progress for people and the planet.
Share your own priorities and perspectives. We have received about 800 responses in 3 languages and are aiming even higher! Take the survey and make your voice heard in Rio!
The Women’s Major Group is led by Women in Europe for a Common Future and Voices of African Mothers and a steering committee with core groups including ENERGIA International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy and Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era. The survey efforts are supported by UN Women and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Eleanor Blomstrom is the Program Coordinator for the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), working for a just world that promotes and protects human rights, gender equality and the integrity of the environment, www.wedo.org,