Meet Some of The Women Giving “Mother Nature” a Whole New Meaning

Celebrating Women's Day with the women who inspire us to care for Mother Earth and everyone who call it home.
celebrating womens day 2020
Women: scientists, activists, and inventors; creators, leaders, and visionaries. Here at Forest Nation, we couldn’t let International Women’s Day pass without taking a moment to highlight some of the female environmentalists who have made waves, especially in sustainability and social equality.
Despite this, globally, women have less access than men do to new technologies and crops. Women also aren’t given as much authority in decision-making, and own less land, often due to traditional practices and land inheritance norms.
This intensifies both the importance and effects of environmental activists in developing countries. Not only have the women on the forefront of this activism contributed to sustainable practices, they have increased agency for women in their communities and around the world.
Now, lets meet a few of these superstars.

Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maatha photo via Goldman Prize
If you’ve looked into environmental activists before, chances are you’ve heard of Wangari Maathai. Wangari started the Greenbelt movement in Kenya, a massive organization that prioritized women’s rights and sustainable environmental tactics in rural communities. Thanks to Wangari’s movement, over 50 million new trees are now planted, and more than 30,000 women have received training that helped to generate income. Wangari’s influence has been extraordinary, and her organization–and her legacy–continues today after 43 years.

Mariama Sonko

Mariama launched a collective action, La Sommes La Solution, to bring food stability to rural women in her community. What began as a local women-led organization in Senegal has since reached five more countries and garnered the support of over 100 additional grassroots organizations. La Sommes La Solution calls on the knowledge of the people of each community to decide best agriculture practices and create natural solutions to obstacles they face. Mariama’s work has brought more women into the agricultural decision-making process, and she has worked tirelessly to correct areas of social injustice.

The Women of Arredor de Casa

Working together, a group of women in Brazil formed Arredor de Casa, an organization that focuses on challenges faced by women in rural areas. Born out of the hardships of land fragmentation and soil depletion in rural Brazil, Arredor de Casa sought solutions. Members have cultivated their own backyard spaces to produce food and study medicinal plants, using these resources to increase social standing for women in Brazil. Since its inception, members have had female farmer exchanges of knowledge and tools, using and spreading the insights of more than 1300 women. Arredor de Casa has banded together rural female farmers, forging both solutions and bonds.
forestnation empowering women farmers in tanzania
Women all around the world are using their agency for the good of the environment and future generations. ForestNation works to build on the progress made by the women in communities such as these. Distributing trees and partnering with locals in countries Tanzania and Haiti, ForestNation prioritizes doing our part to listen to the wisdom of these communities to develop sustainable environmental practices. In turn, the work not only aims to improve sustainable long-term agriculture, but it helps alleviate the burden many women in these areas face because of agricultural hardships.
If you haven’t already, take today to think of and thank the women of the world who are helping it. Whether at the forefront or behind the scenes, this integral work makes every day International Women’s Day.
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