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Taking Your Stories and Recommendations to Rio+20

RIO+20: United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development
Make Your Voice Heard!
What are your global sisters saying?
Click on the map to read
women's solutions from around the world
or click here to see all stories.

Advise World Leaders on What Sustainable and Equitable Development Means to YOU

This May, in partnership with the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), World Pulse launched an initiative on our online community platform, inviting global grassroots women leaders to outline their personal experiences and recommendations on equitable and sustainable development.

We asked individuals to touch upon a key issue area that addresses the most urgent need for improving their lives, their families, and communities. These courageous women shared their on-the-ground realities and strong recommendations to world leaders at the Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development on how governments can adopt and implement policy and legislative changes that address sustainable development issues and recognize and promote women’s economic contributions.

Taking Grassroots Women's Voices to Rio+20

Women and Sustainable Development

The stories highlighted on the map above include personal testimonies and key recommendations from women worldwide. Each story addresses one of the following issue areas which represents the most urgent need and on-the-ground reality affecting the author's life, family, or community:

  • Women’s land tenure, property rights, and control over natural resources.
  • Women’s access to services and technologies needed for water, energy, agricultural production, family care, household management, and business enterprises.
  • Access to safe health care facilities, including for sexual and reproductive health.
  • Ability for women—and men—to combine their jobs with childcare.
  • Investments in women’s economic empowerment.
  • Women in the informal and care economy.
  • Women’s participation in government and business leadership.

"Women leaders are a potent immune system for the Earth. Now it is our job to crank up the volume on the often-unheard voices so that they can become an unstoppable, vibrant force for ecological restoration: quiet no more, loudly roaring and gushing with life."
—Jensine Larsen, World Pulse Founder

Over the last few years, we’ve watched women around the world use the power of interactive media to rise out of the shadows and drive change. The 13,000+ grassroots women leaders in our community are determined to connect globally through information communication technologies and speak out as representatives of their communities to lead local and global change.

World Pulse and our network of grassroots women leaders from around the world stand with the Women’s Major Group in calling for strong commitments and actions from world leaders to reform and implement policies that empower women to garner equal access to property, education, services, and economic and political leadership as they lead their families and communities out of poverty.

These statements represent the need and demand from grassroots women for their full, equal, and beneficial integration in all development activities. They desire to have a voice at the negotiating and drafting table to represent their communities in bringing forward solutions for the obstacles that continue to stand in the way of progress must be heard. The potential for women's leadership in the protection, management, and recovery of the natural environment is arguably the greatest untapped resource for a successful, sustainable development model.

Why Does This Matter to Me?

"The full potential of women as leaders and beneficiaries of sustainable development has not been fully realized. As half the world’s population, women need to have equal opportunities and a strong voice in all aspects of making sustainable development a reality."
—Michelle Bachelet, UN Women Exec. Director

Women work two thirds of the world's working hours, yet receive only 10% of the world's income and own only 1% of the world's property. The potential for women's leadership in the protection, management, and recovery of the natural environment is arguably the greatest untapped resource for a successful, sustainable development model.

This year we have an urgent opportunity to address governments and policymakers at the Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. We must ensure that the summit outcomes represent women's priorities in achieving gender equality and environmental justice for a sustainable future.

What is Rio+20?

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) will take place June 20-22, 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, marking the 20th anniversary of the first 'Earth Summit' in 1992—a landmark UN summit organized in response to the growing ecological crisis.

Now, twenty years later, the UN is again bringing together governments, international institutions, and major groups to agree on a range of smart measures that can reduce poverty while promoting decent jobs, clean energy, and a more sustainable and fair use of resources.


Women’s Major Group Statement to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

VIDEO: Women Demand Rights and Ambition at Rio+20 Negotiations

Empowerment of Women in a Green Economy in the Context of Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development

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