Greetings to all on this International Women’s Day.
As we honor and celebrate the women in our lives and the women of this world as life-givers, life-leaders and life-sustainers, we are also painfully aware that the majority of violence in the world directly and indirectly affects women and girls. Stopping this violence and empowering women must be a top priority of our work. While we seem to be at a moment in many parts of the world where an old version of patriarchy that diminishes the lives of women has reemerged, I believe that this is the last gasp of a dying social order. What is emerging to take its place, is a world in which women and men share equal partnerships in caring for one another, our families, our communities and our social and political institutions. From the very beginning, URI has been committed to gender equality. Principle 8 of the URI Charter reads: “We practice equitable participation of women and men in all aspects of the URI.” Honoring and respecting the not only the lives of women, but the leadership of women is at the heart of URI.
It is in this spirit that I am very excited to announce a partnership between URI and the Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA). URI and WEA are teaming up to create a global training program called The Ripple Academy which will bring together URI’s and WEA’s training models, offering a coordinated training experience for Cooperation Circle members around the world equipping them with the skills and tools in community organizing and project development that they need to build bridges of cooperation and create environmental solutions for their communities. An announcement of this program is attached.
Why is this program focused on women and the environment? Because when women thrive, communities thrive. When women thrive, the world thrives. Women are both the most impacted by conflict and environmental crises and best positioned to design and spread solutions. This work fosters women’s environmental leadership because without a healthy natural world, and access to water, food and clean energy, peace cannot flourish.
Blessings to all on this International Women’s Day.