Ecofeminist Fair – Celebrating 30 Years of Ecofeminist Movement Building

Since its founding in 1994, WECF has been working on strengthening the ecofeminist movement, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with global partners. To commemorate this occasion, we celebrated the many aspects and expressions of ecofeminism by hosting an Ecofeminist Fair! A whole day filled with interactive sessions, creative workshops, special guests, exciting exhibitions, live music and an engaging market. It was a true representation of all that WECF encompasses, with representatives from all offices present and all events linking to WECFs key thematic areas: sustainable development, climate action and a toxic free future. 

“In these times of conflicts, feminist solidarity is more important than ever to find peace in a world that desires connection but practices fragmentation.” Moderator Naomi Antonius set the tone of the day, bringing to attention the necessity to unite now more than ever. The need for a holistic approach to the intersecting crises of today came up time and time again throughout the different sessions, and was also reflected on by keynote speaker Jessica den Outer in her opening words. Jessica has been involved with the International Rights for Nature movement since 2017, authored the book “Rights for Nature” and is now the Director of the Rights of Nature Foundation based in The Netherlands.


Moderator Naomi Antonius & Trupti Jain                     Keynote speaker Jessica den Outer

Following her motivational keynote, Naomi closed off the session by inviting feminists, climate activists, environmentalists and young changemakers present, to explore the different avenues of ecofeminism and think of a key answer to the question: 

what do ecofeminists want, and what do ecofeminists need? 

Anne-marie Abaagu, Executive Director of Women Environmental Programme (WEP), was given the special task of “butterfly” of the event, flying around the different sessions and reflecting on what particularly struck her.

Exploring WECFs Ecofeminist Action

Between the sessions, the ecofeminist market was thriving with visitors, who were in the meantime enjoying live Latin Music and delicious vegan snacks. The market featured a feminist library with books from Jessica Den Outer and Ralien Beckers, a fun photobooth and a photo exhibition featuring images from Annabelle Avril. WECF France organised an “Eco Feminist Trivia” featuring an enormous dice and classing “throwing cans” game. The WECF Germany Team invited participants to come to play “Watt a Bingo! Electrify Your Mind on Gender and Energy Poverty”. The Dutch WECF team organized a wheel of fortune, putting people’s knowledge of the European elections to the test. And lastly, the Georgian WECF office recorded their podcast “Can You Hear My Voice” live in the venue.

Informative Sessions

The first informative session of the day featured the name: “Can You Hear My Voice: Democracy under Pressure”. We explored the different threats civil society, feminist organizations, human rights, environmental defenders and marginalized people are facing and discussed what it is that we can do to resist and mobilize the ecofeminist movement instead. Ana Muradashvili, gender researcher and human rights activist from Georgia, Anne-Floor Dekker, Executive Director of WO=MEN Dutch Gender Platform and Danielle Hirsh Dutch parliament member for GroenLinks/PvdA and former director of Both Ends, joined us in this timely discussion exploring regressive trends in Georgia, The Netherlands, the EU and globally. Panelists gave a clear call for resistance against the anti-gender tactics used by far-right parties, also now in the Netherlands, and to strengthen feminist solidarity and that of broad alliances.

 Dutch MP Danielle Hirsch speaking in the panel

In the second informative session, “The Future of Climate Action”, Gender Just Climate Solutions were front and center of the discussion. Why is it essential to have feminist leadership centered in these solutions? In the panel, we spoke to three women who have each chosen a different path in their plight for feminist climate justice. Ralien Bekkers author and leading the international climate work at the Dutch Ministry of Finance, Agnes Schim van der Loeff, policy advisor climate justice for ActionAid Netherlands, and Trupti Jain, who is the Founder Director of Naireeta Services, in India. Trupti urged everybody – like the women farmers in India – to “not wait” and take climate action, even against the odds.

Lastly, in the session “Secret Toxics”, Sascha Gabizon Executive Director of WECF International and Margriet Mantingh Chair of Pesticide Action Network The Netherlands, explored what toxics we find in unusual and unwanted places. Everywhere you look you find toxic chemicals: in our food, in a bundle of flowers, right down to your children’s toys.  We learned that exposure to these toxics can lead to irreversible diseases, and that many of these toxics are part of the class of ‘forever chemicals’ that are transferred from generation to generation, accumulating and increasing their risk.  Finally we discussed what we can do to prevent ourselves from being exposed to these toxics in the first place, for example, by avoiding plastics and supporting your local organic farmer where possible.

Adding to the “Ecofeminists Want…” demonstration banner

Creative workshops

Alongside the informative sessions, several creative sessions were hosted. Sieta van Horck led a beautiful “Inner Activism” workshop,  designed for anyone who desired to serve the healing of our world more powerfully and effectively. Participants gained practical tools to deal intelligently with emotions, learn to recognize and use their own unique power, and explored how to harness the power of community for effective activism and sustainable change. In the second session, WECF colleagues invited participants to get reflective and creative by adding their voices to the “Ecofeminists Want…” demonstration banner, which took shape throughout the entire day. And lastly, Jeike Meijer organized an “Ecofeminist Songwriting masterclass”, in which we explored how to infuse creative writing and songwriting with artistic and activist messages gaining insight from political songwriters and even from Beyoncé!

Following an inspiring day programme at our Ecofeminist Fair, we continued the celebration with our close friends, partners and allies at the reception. Read all about that in the next article on our webpage!


(professional photograpy by Josette Oegema)