To contribute toward its vision for the world, WEDO’s mission is to ensure that women’s rights; social, economic and environmental justice; and sustainable development principles-as well as the linkages between them-are at the heart of global and national policies, programs and practices.
Since its inception, WEDO has been a leader in organizing women for international conferences and actions. In 1991, WEDO organized the World Women’s Congress for a Healthy Planet, bringing together more than 1,500 women from 83 countries to work jointly on a strategy for the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), more commonly known as the Earth Summit, held in early 1992.
The result was Women’s Action Agenda 21, an outline for a healthy and peaceful planet that was the basis for introducing gender equality in the official UNCED final documents Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration. This was an amazing feat that quickly positioned WEDO as a trailblazer in international women’s rights.
Since then, WEDO has built on that experience by mobilizing women’s participation to advance women’s perspectives at the UN and other forums. Throughout the 1990s WEDO played a key leadership role to ensure that gender was included in the outcomes of major UN conferences.
Today, WEDO recognizes that policy commitments alone are not enough to improve women’s daily lives. That is why WEDO is collaborating more deeply with Southern partners on implementing global policy gains at the national level and holding governments accountable to their commitments on women’s rights.
In 2006, WEDO was recognized with the Champion of the Earth award by UNEP, citing WEDO as “a champion in the field of women’s economic, social and gender rights and a beacon for the empowerment of women across the environmental and development debate.”