by Kumi Naidoo
I was recently humbled to accept an invitation from UN Women Executive Director, Michelle Bachelet, to join her Global Civil Society Advisory Group. In reflecting on the appointment, I’d like to call to your attention the passionate environmentalist and politician Wangari Mathaai.
It’s almost a year since Wangari’s passing; I spoke at memorial services for her in both Durban and London. As we enter a critical era for both environmental and gender rights, women like Wangari become important not only for the work they do and ideals they uphold, but for their lasting memory as beacons for inspiration, action, and change.
UN Women was created only two years ago next month, and its aim was to accelerate UN goals promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women. I accepted the invitation because I believe Gender Equality is not only a basic human right, and that its achievement has enormous positive ramifications, but because there is an oft-unspoken outrage when it comes to women who suffer most from environmental injustices. Continue reading