Building the Ecofeminist Movement

As an ecofeminist network we want to amplify the work of our partners in the field of gender equality and the fight against climate change and environmental pollution. We believe that a sustainable future and environment needs feminist solutions reflecting the lives of people on the ground. That is why we work on transformative gender equality and women’s human rights in interconnection with sustainable development and climate justice.

Ecofeminist Movement Building Fund

In 2021 WECF launched the Ecofeminist Movement Building Fund, supporting ecofeminist organisations with small grants in selected countries and on invitation only. In 2022, we focussed particularly on the Eastern European, Caucasus and Central Asian/Asian regions, in part also because the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine affects all former Soviet countries and the neighbouring countries in the region. This year we were happy invite six partners to partake in the Ecofeminist Movement Building Fund call for projects.

The Ecofeminist Movement Building Fund is supported by the Nationale Postcode Loterij

Get to know the partners

Ukraine - NGO Ecoclub

Gender mainstreaming during the war in Ukraine

Ukrainian green NGOs are working to ensure that their country will not return to its pre-war state but will be on the path to sustainable development. This requires, among other things, the development of women’s leadership, gender sensitivity, and inclusiveness in post-war reconstruction. At the moment, these issues look secondary in the eyes of the government and are virtually absent from public discussion. NGO Ecoclub is determined to put these issues on the agenda.

“NGO Ecoclub is grateful for the opportunity to implement the “Gender mainstreaming during the war in Ukraine” project! In such cruel full-scale war times in Ukraine, our women received a chance to take leadership in that areas where men have traditionally been involved. Consequently, it requires women’s quick adaptation to new opportunities and challenges. It is a principle for us to provide them a platform for sharing their thoughts and ideas, education, and exchanging experiences.”

About Ecoclub: Ecoclub is an energy-oriented environmental protection NGO based in Rivne, Ukraine. The Ecoclub’s mission is to create future with green energy by empowering citizens and communities and influencing policy. Ecoclub mobilizes people to influence climate policy, and organizes educational events, street performances, lobbying, and advocacy activities, and studies.

Kyrgyzstan - Public association of rural women "Alga"

Women-led actions for food security and stronger resilience to new emerging risks in the context of climate change and COVID-19 crisis in rural areas in Kyrgyzstan

“Rural women are experiencing the impact of climate change and environmental degradation in their daily lives, as glaciers no longer provide the needed water, and toxic pesticides and plastic waste are polluting our soils, food and groundwater sources.” Shares our partner Olga, from NGO Alga. “In Kyrgyzstan there is evidence that women, especially rural women are most likely to be affected by flash flooding and landslides as they spent much more time in the exposed residential and subsistence production area.”

The Covid-19 crisis deepened vulnerabilities of rural women, who struggle every day with new hardships and increasing gender based violence, challenges to food security and personal safety. Despite women and girls’ vast experience in the agricultural field – almost one third of employed women work in agriculture,- they are often ignored in environmental and climate planning and missing from climate decision-making processes. Alga trains rural women from poor families, ethnic minorities as well as young and migrant women – in the Chui, Issyk-Kul and Osh regions, on how to develop necessary practical skills that will help them to cope with new emerging risks of climate change and challenges to their wellbeing, safety, food security, and which will ensure their sustainable livelihoods.

About Alga: Founded by rural women in the Jerkazar village of the Chui region, the mission of organization Alga is to improve the socio-economic status and living conditions of rural women by developing women’s leadership and potential.

Indonesia  - AKSI!

For gender, social and ecological justice

Indonesia currently holds the G20 presidency – the intergovernmental forum on issues related to the global economy – and will host the upcoming G20 Summit in Bali on the 15th and 16th of November 2022. Whilst there are some ways for NGO’s to be engaged in the G20 – like through the civil society group (C20), local and grassroots groups often lack this opportunity due to various issues including limited understanding of the issues and the lack of a proper internet connection. The main objective of the Aksi project is to enable issues and concerns of grassroots communities and in particular women, to be heard in the G20 process Prior to the G20, Aksi will organize the “Local and Grassroots Women’s Summit on G20”. The Women’s Summit will be a unique space for knowledge building and skill sharing for activist and grassroots women on the G20 issues and their possible implications on women, whilst building solidarity amongst the attending women’s groups and networks. Around 100 local women’s activists and grassroots women and 20 international/regional women’s activists will partake in the capacity building workshops, exhibitions and cultural events planned for the Women’s Summit.

Thanks to the Fund 15 women from remote areas in regions close to forests and natural resources will be able to join the Women’s Summit. Moreover, all participants will be able to receive a G20 guidebook on the topics discussed within the G20.

About Aksi: Aksi was founded by six Indonesian feminists to influence the debate and discourse on development, environment, and climate change to ensure the protection of the rights of women and their communities, as well as support grassroots women’s actions.

Moldova - Ormax ACT

Rural women with equal rights to renewable energy and a sustainable ecological environment

The world’s energy crisis is a heavy burden for everybody everywhere, but is especially hitting vulnerable people in Europe’s poorest country; Moldova. The elderly, people with disabilities and single women raising children are amongst those most heavily impacted.
The use of renewable energy, and other eco-technologies can significantly reduce poverty and contribute to sustainable development in Moldova. However, in Moldova, women do not have equal access to such opportunities as training and education in the renewable energy and eco-technologies sectors. With this funding Ormax developed 4 trainings for 30 women from rural communities to learn practical skills such as building and assembling various technologies that will reduce poverty and contribute to sustainable development.

About Ormax : Ormax Youth Cultural Association was founded in order to improve the ecological situation by the empowerment of the civil society in the fields of the environmental development in Moldova. Ormax contribute to the education of the population environmental technology’s promotion. Their objective: move towards Innovative eco-technologies that reduces poverty in rural communities reducing the negative impact on natural resources by developing and implementing various environmental programs.

Kyrgyzstan - Ecological Movement BIOM

Youth / women's engagement for sustainable development in Kyrgyzstan

The goal of BIOM, a longstanding partner of WECF is to unite different public groups working towards solutions for ecological problems and realizing the sustainable development goals. Our partner explains their work best: “The Ecological Movement BIOM has been operating in Kyrgyzstan since 1996. We have come a long way and have strong partnerships with many national and international organizations. WECF is an organization with which we are united by a long history and many successful initiatives. Recently, we have worked on the protection of the rights of vulnerable groups from the negative impact of hazardous chemicals, access to water and sanitation, protection from the negative impact of asbestos, and developed system recommendations to improve safety. These recommendations have been presented internationally .”

“This initiative will provide an opportunity to strengthen civil initiatives in the field of ecology in our country, involve young people, journalists in national and international processes and expand opportunities to improve environmental safety for the most vulnerable groups.”

Georgia - WECF Georgia

The voice of a Georgian woman

Feminism is on the rise in Georgia, especially among youth. Local activists and young feminists are eager to get their voices out there, but are struggling to access a larger audiences and lack the skills to present their message in an accessible way. Simultaneously, there is a lack of high-quality information on feminism, sexuality and women’s rights in Georgian. WECF Georgia, with their podcast project “The voice of a Georgian woman” is working on bridging this gap. The podcast series – aimed at the general public – cover topics such as “gender and climate” and “history of feminism in Georgia” in a way that is easy to understand, yet simultaneously underlines direct political demands and puts public pressure on these important issues. Under the leadership and guidance of experienced trainer Constant Léon, – who is a trans gender radio journalist-, 20 young girls and 7 feminists/environmental activists are trained on how to produce good quality podcasts on feminist demands for sustainable change.

“WECF Georgia is very exited to work on this innovative and long anticipated project, which we believe will have a great impact on the feminist movement in Georgia, though reaching a bigger audience with hot topics”

North Macedonia - Journalists for Human Rights (JHR)

ELA - Environmental Legal Action in North Macedonia

Environmental and human rights protection measures are slowly making their way into Western Balkan countries’ laws and policies. However, what is put on paper is often far from what is done in reality. Issues such as air pollution, river pollution, deforestation or infrastructure in protected areas to the detriment of nature and the local population are often linked to economic groups that have an interest in circumventing legislation. To ensure that these economic investments do not cause negative human rights impacts on the local population, North Macedonia needs to enforce a legal framework for sustainable environmental practices as well as a strengthened civil society organizations that have the knowledge, means and tools to take legal and other actions.
The action ‘Environmental Legal Action’ will strengthen civil society organizations, democracy activists and human rights defenders working on critical environmental rights and democracy issues in North Macedonia.

About Journalists for Human Rights: based in North-Macedonia, that focuses on human rights, a sustainable environment, youth &women’s empowerment and consumer protection

Ukraine - Black Sea Women's Club (BSWC)

With hope to our common future

The project “With hope to our common future” is addressed the resolving the most urgent problems of the Ukrainian people, first of all, the most vulnerable groups, including women and girls, to survive in times of war. Providing the help in the most urgent needs at the same time they would like to give hope to our more sustainable future and increase the capacity and confidence in the future of women and girls.

Very important is the re-equipment of basements of Odessa’s multi-apartment houses under shelter and increase of safety of people staying in them BSWC started work on the re-equipment of basements under shelter while at the same time increasing energy efficiency of these basements and planning energy-efficient measures for participating buildings. By relatively simple improvements, the basements can be made safe as bomb shelters, including food and water provisions, emergency latrines and menstrual hygiene materials, reinforcements, aerations, emergency electricity, and emergency wifi

Like many other NGOs in Ukraine and abroad BSWC in times of war refocused its work on works to help to Ukrainian people, first of all, vulnerable groups, including women and girls, to survive in times of war. Some BSWC members are refugees and are working from Germany, and Romania, some are working in Odesa and Odesa region. Together with many NGOs, private persons, and common people from Georgia, Belarus, Poland, and other countries we are creating the possibilities to support women, children, and internally displaced persons in Ukraine.

Tajikistan - The Little Earth

School of environmental activism for young women

With negative social norms persisting and gender stereotypes increasing, women in Tajikistan are less likely to participate in the decision-making process, they have fewer opportunities than men to develop skills and abilities, continue their education and careers, and engage in activism. Therefore, it is so important to support those activist girls who show interest in the topic of climate change and the environment and try to implement local initiatives.

“We need new, caring and active young people who could bring new ideas and innovative solutions to the environmental movement. We really want our participants’ desire and thirst for change to take shape in the form of concrete actions to address the climate crisis on the ground. That is why we organize the School of Environmental Activism.” – says Timur Idrisov, Senior Advisor of The Little Earth

Fifteen young girls aged 16 to 25 from Dushanbe, Khujand, Khorog and Kulyab or Bohtar, who are either employees of public organizations or individual activists, will take part in the 3 day event in Dushanbe. The program of the School will include general sessions, master classes, thematic presentations and discussions, work in small groups and interactive tasks, all with the guidance of expert and activist trainers.

By providing the young girls with the necessary knowledge, skills and the opportunity to prove themselves, this activity will contribute to the formation of new active and responsible citizens who will play an important role in solving social and environmental problems in their communities.

Furthermore, two of the most interesting eco-initiatives will receive a monetary prize of 500 euros each.

Nigeria - Women Environmental Programme Nigeria (WEP Nigeria)

Actionplan for Gender and Climate Change

As a key expert on Nigeria’s National Gender and Climate Change Action Plan, WEP Nigeria has been able to conduct two greatly successful advocacy visits and a workshop – which we have updated you on in previous reports. These visits and workshop are focused on raising awareness about the National Gender & Climate Action Plan, with participants coming from all the North-central States of Nigeria, including Federal Capital Territory (Abuja).

An estimated 45% of the workshop participants from the state agencies and civil society admitted that they were not aware of Nigeria has adopted a Gender Climate Action Plan. The participants gained knowledge and awareness about the Action Plan and why it needs cooperation between different local and state government agencies and also the engagement of civil society organizations and the media

As a result of the project, the State-governments of Nigeria are now taking measures to implement the National Action Plan on Gender and Climate Change. And not only State-governments are compelled to take action, civil society actors as well.

WEP plans to follow up to ensure that states develop (costed) climate action plans and that they work with civil society and ecofeminist organisations.

Uganda  - Action for Rural Women's Empowerment (ARUWE)

Women in action against climate change

Our partner Action for Rural Women’s Empowerment (ARUWE) works to empower rural women in the Nebbi region of Uganda, supporting women farmers with food production while protecting the climate and the forests. Another key aspect is helping women to get secure land rights.
As a first step, ARUWE conducted a survey and found that of the respondents the majority of the women:are still not in any form of leadership position, do not inherit land and have not yet received any kind of training in environmental conservation or climate adaptation.

Furthermore, they also found that out of the respondents, 98.9% were using firewood as their main and only source of fuel for cooking due to financial constraints and lack of information. ARUWE set out to popularize energy efficient cooking stoves (Lorena stoves), which use very little firewood and have a chimney built outside to keep the smoke outside of the house, which normally affects women’s health. With help from the District Environment Officer, they have reached a total of 320 people.

Key to the project’s success is the role of a core team of 25 community-trusted, vocal and knowledgeable ecofeminist activists. These activists have promoted the lorena stoves, conducted 4 community awareness campaigns across Jupangira sub county on protecting the environment and they distributed tree saplings in collaboration with other local authorities.

Another advocacy activity they conducted were two physical planning and sharing forums at the district level, involving stakeholders and environmental actors from the Nebbi District.

Lastly, ARUWE is changing mindsets and spreading their message wide through different platforms. ARUWE and two ecofeminist leaders took part in a policy debate on local FM Radio, together with the district vice chairperson, the district environmental officer and a representative of environmental Civil Society Organisations. ARUWE also spread T-shirts and posters displaying information on the dangers of cutting down trees.

Tunisia - Women Environmental Programme Tunisia (WEP Tunisia)

Strengthening rural women in Tekelsa 

WEP Tunisia is on a mission to improve the socio-economic conditions of rural women, particularly in the Tekelsa region (in the north-east of Tunisia), by developing their leadership and organizational skills and their knowledge on how to launch sustainable income-generating activities.

The project focusses on building capacity of the women members of the agricultural cooperative ‘GDA’ (Agriculture Development Association). The cooperative has a membership of 183 rural women, whom are facing many constraints holding them back from economic development and political participation. Their situation is further impacted by climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss, reducing yields and income.

This is only the beginning of long-term cooperations with various organizations and the local government, whom have expressed interest in this project, such as the regional department of agriculture, the municipality or the Ministry of Social Affairs.

To end the project, on the 30th of June 2022, the first version of the “Women in Tekelsa” fair took place. This will become a yearly celebration to promote local women’s activities and progress. The national, regional and local authorities participated, as well as NGOs, syndicates, the private sector, children and the larger community.

Morocco - Association Démocratique des Femmes du Maroc (ADFM)

Political influence and rights of women in Morocco

Our partner Association Démocratique des Femmes du Maroc (ADFM), is committed to promoting the political influence and rights of women in Morocco. Women are still underrepresented in politics and their socioeconomic position is being affected not only by the pandemic, but also by the effects of climate change. Due to increased drought, many women are finding that the natural resources on which they depend – such as argan nuts, for example – are dwindling, and a lack of individual social security makes them even more vulnerable in these situations.

Elections took place in Morocco on Sept. 8, 2021. ADFM organized a “gender & elections” training for 50 young observers to measure the level of gender mainstreaming in the electoral process. A report on the conduct of the pre-campaign, election campaign and voting was prepared by ADFM, providing recommendations to the government and parliament. To disseminate the results, a press conference was also organized for journalists and civil society.

ADFM organized two workshops, the first in collaboration with the Souss Massa Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services in March in Agadir: “Advocacy techniques for strengthening women’s political, economic and environmental rights.” The workshop taught them about the various political, economic and environmental constraints women face in the Souss Massa region, particularly women working in cooperatives. Based on these constraints, ADFM mobilized local and national actors in order to provide responses adapted to the specific needs of women.

As a final activity, ADFM organized a brainstorming workshop on July 22, 2022 in Taroudant, in collaboration with the Taroudant City Council, under the theme: “Towards the economic and social empowerment of women based on equality and climate justice.”

As a result of these workshops, women are now aware of the importance of climate change and how it affects their activities, the importance of social security, economic stability and the role of their local government to help improve their situation.