It’s International Women’s Day on 8th March, and we thought we’d take the opportunity to seek out some inspirational women working to improve the sustainability and ethics of our environment. We’ve tried to feature a broad range here, but there are absolutely gaps and unsung heroes out there, so please please mention your own picks in the comments, or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll update!
For the most part, we’ve found a video of these women talking about their work – we’re big believers in amplifying the voices of others rather than regurgitating their words as our own. Take a minute, grab a cuppa, and listen to what these inspiring women have to say about the world.
Reni Eddo-Lodge is a journalist and writer, a black feminist who is extremely articulate on the topic of intersectionality. She has a book coming out in 2017, which arose from a blog post “Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race”. Well worth a read. (She’s vegan too, if that’s your flex).
(1940-2011) A trailblazer in many senses of the word, Wangari was the first woman from East and Central Africa to obtain a doctoral degree, and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her commitment to “sustainable development, democracy and peace.” Her work promoted “ecologically viable social, economic and cultural development in Kenya and in Africa. She has taken a holistic approach to sustainable development that embraces democracy, human rights and women’s rights in particular. She thinks globally and acts locally.”
She established the Green Belt Movement, who continue her work today, taking an active role in discussions and advocacy around climate change, tree planting and water conservation, and highlighting the links between human activity and the environment.
Vandana Shiva focuses primarily on issues surrounding biodiversity and the use of non-renewable seed crops, as well as their impact on global poverty, food production, and agricultural practices.
Majora Carter is an environmental justice campaigner, working to bring positive environment change to areas in urban environments, challenging the statistical norms around access to green environment along class, race, and income lines. In the impassioned TED talk linked above, she outlines how these schemes generate benefit for the local environment, and its inhabitants, in really diverse ways. A real firebrand – inspirational!
Safia Minney is the founder of People Tree, successfully bringing organic cotton and slow fashion to the mainstream. Her business launches have typically been guided by her own desires to be an ethical consumer, and she talks about that a little in the video above.
Anna Lappe is a ‘Food Mythbuster’, and the video above she unpicks some of the ideas around industrialised agriculture.
There are also some great grassroots movements and individuals effecting change out there, and these are just a handful of the ones we came across whilst researching this piece. Again, if your favourite is missing, let us know!