Women Building Power


Climate Wise Women was started in 2009 by five women activists from the US, Uganda, Carteret Islands and Cook Islands who met at the UN at the Secretary General’s High Level Meeting on Climate Change.  With seed funding and mentorship from former Irish president Mary Robinson’s US foundation Realizing Rights, the women seized the opportunity to advocate for support for women’s leadership on climate change at a moment when people were just beginning to understand the fundamental role women play in helping their communities survive climate change impacts. 

Between 2010 and 2016, Climate Wise Women created a series of public speaking events, presenting global grassroots women in public conversations about climate change with local leaders, that covered five continents. While continuing to support women’s voices in public spaces, Climate Wise Women is expanding to build deeper relationships between funders and women’s groups working on climate change resilience, and to connect women’s networks globally for knowledge sharing and collective influence. Climate Wise Women is a project of the Earth Island Institute.

Women all over the world are ... on the frontlines of the fall-out from climate change and therefore on the forefront of climate action. What we — the international community — need to do is talk to them, learn from them and support them in scaling up what they know works best in their communities.
— Natalie Samarasinghe, Executive Director, United Nations Association UK