Advancing Justice for Women

For our coalition’s women leaders, 2023 was a year of international engagement and advocacy. Over the last three years, our Gender Justice Program has mobilized and supported over 75 Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and local community grassroots women’s groups and networks in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This year, we made great strides in creating space for these women in decision-making spaces while advocating for the incorporation of a gender-inclusive lens to existing and emerging global climate finance in regional and international fora.

At the beginning of the year, we helped organize the first strategic meeting of the Women in Global South Alliance (WiGSA)—launched by our coalition members at CoP27 in 2022. We also helped at least 20 women leaders participate in key international events to share Our Call to Action, which calls upon global leaders and donors to increase direct access to funding for grassroots women’s organizations.

Women of the Ipetí-Emberá community of Panama dance with members of WiGSA in the main Maloka of the Alto Bayano Collective Territory, Panama. | Photo Credit: Walter Hurtado.

Here are some highlights of our achievements in pursuing gender justice.

  1. In March 2023, 16 Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and local community women, representing 14 countries from the Global South, braved cross-continental travel and multiple time zones to meet in Panama for WiGSA’s first strategic meeting. At this meeting, we collectively composed the Alliance’s mission, vision, and values; identified moments of international intervention that could serve as a platform for key messages; and jointly built a gender justice advocacy strategy that will act as our roadmap in the years ahead.

"We must recognize the leadership role women and girls are playing in conservation efforts. We cannot save nature unless we put Indigenous, Afrodescendant, and rural women at the center."

— Cécile Bibiane Ndjebet Founder and President of the African Women’s Network for Community Management of Forests (REFACOF)

  1. WiGSA members participated in key regional and international events to push for direct access to climate finance for Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and local community women and girls. These events included the Mesoamerican Climate Week in Panama City, Panama; the Global Environmental Facility’s 7th Assembly in Vancouver, Canada; the 2023 Women Deliver Conference in Kigali, Rwanda; the First Forum of Indigenous and Local Community Women in Central Africa and the Congo Basin in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo; and at several side events at CoP28 in Dubai.