Women’s Voices ‘Vital’ to Sustain Our Future

In the 21st century, we still appreciate and commemorate the tremendous strides our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers made during the women’s suffrage movement.  However, we forget that work remains to be done to truly achieve an equal society and sustainable future for all.  Women are still under-represented in executive boards, political legislatures, and other decision-making bodies. Yet, we need women’s collaborative approach to problem-solving, and their creativity and leadership to grow a post-carbon economy.  Women make over 85% of consumer purchases, represent $16.8 trillion in purchasing power and are over 50% of the world’s population. Therefore, women have a special responsibility to focus their talents and drive to fast-forward the green economy.

Earth Day Network continues to highlight women’s role in green works and sustainability as part of our Women and the Green Economy (WAGE™) campaign.  On April 12, Earth Day Network was thrilled to attend and celebrate with our partners at Vital Voices the Tenth Annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards: A Decade of Investing in Women to Improve Our World.  The annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards recognize women leaders who are strengthening democracy, increasing economic opportunity and preserving human rights.  From remote villages to wired cities, they promote equality, peace and prosperity as innovators who transcend barriers to move whole communities forward.

The extraordinary women honored at the 10th Annual Global Leadership Awards included Dr. Sunitha Krishnan of India, an anti-human trafficking pioneer; Liron Peleg Hadomi and Noha Khatieb of Israel, who are courageously reaching across cultural barriers to build a foundation for peace and prosperity; Kah Walla of Cameroon, a businesswoman working to advance the status of the women in her country; and Fatema Akbari of Afghanistan (pictured, third from left), a successful entrepreneur who uses her carpentry business to promote economic independence for the women.  Finally, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi received the Global Trailblazer Award for her amazing work as a pro-democracy opposition leader in Burma.  The awards were presented by women leaders from around the world, including Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large of the U.S. Office of Global Women’s Issues (pictured, second from left) and featured an address by U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton.

Women are the greatest untapped resource of our world.  Celebrate these amazing women with Vital Voices and Earth Day Network in honor of women everywhere who are working towards a better planet!