Sure, environmental issues are ones of the most serious problems that have to be discussed today - but why is this supposed to be a women issue as well? Similar questions we heard a thousand times when we organized the International Women's Forum - solidarity in the Greenhouse as part of the NGO actions that went on during the UN Climate Summit in Berlin.
Women are not adequately represented in the decision-making level of both governmental and non-governmental environmental organisations nor in key-positions in the economic system. Therefore we tried to give voice to the experience and expertise of women in this Women's Forum to create new visions for an alternative way of development towards a society in social and ecological harmony.
We intend to continue the long-term dialogue which is building a bridge from the 3rd UN World Women's Conference in Nairobi in 1985 via the world Women's Congress for a Healthy Planet 1991 in Miami and the Global Women's Tent during the Rio Summit in 1992 to the 4th UN World Women's Conference in Beijing in 1995.
Our aim is to show the relationship between ecology and development, violence and women's-issues. Also to promote the Agenda 21, especially chapter 24 which demands the empowerment of women for their wide participation in environmental tasks and development.
Women became experts by being directly affected by the consequences of ecological degradation. Women care for the health of their children when they suffer from diseases caused by environmental pollution. Still they are often in charge of guaranteeing foundation of life for their families. So they are the first being affected by the growing scarcity of resources such as firewood, water and soil. This leads to an increasing burden of work, to poverty, hunger and flight.
In this caucus, Women for Peace and Ecology would like to encourage women to get active in environmental and development issues: to articulate loudly and confidently their personal feelings and emotions about it, their anger and desperation, and first of all their demands towards all decision-making levels in politics and economy, their visions and hopes.
The three main themes of the Caucus are:
So for all those who want to meet and work with other young people in the environment and development movement from across Europe, have something to share with the rest of us, and want to learn from each others skills, views, and ideas, please contact us via the A SEED Europe Office in Amsterdam.
We look forward to seeing you in Nijmegen!