GAGGA launches “We, Women are Water” campaign 2021

On International Women’s Day (March 8th) the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA) will launch the “We, Women are Water” campaign to highlight women’s role, demands and actions in ensuring water security in the face of climate change. 

The interrelated crises of water, climate and COVID-19 all share the same root causes: a deeply unjust and patriarchal economic system based on extraction and unlimited growth. GAGGA provides a platform for the funds, NGOs and women-led community-based organizations of its network to join forces in resisting this exploitative model that pollutes communities’ land and water, and push for structural change and a just recovery that prioritizes people and the planet over profit.

Despite the vast challenges, the combined pandemic and climate crises have also revealed the resilience of community-based organizing led by women as well as of practices that often rely on local, traditional, and Indigenous-based knowledge to secure water. These actions reveal the strength and creativity of local women’s leadership, mobilizing mutual support and community responses.

We’ll be posting one or two stories every day on social media as we approach World Water Day (March 22), focusing on GAGGA-supported communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America who are already experiencing water insecurity due to climate change. While these stories make up a small sample, they reflect the reality of many communities across the globe.

Their limited water security is compounded by the actions of companies, governments and investors engaged in extractive activities, false climate solutions and agro-industry. In all these projects, the human rights of women, local communities and Indigenous peoples are violated due to lack of consultation, involvement and prior consent. 

The campaign will showcase stories from partners in Bolivia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nigeria, Peru, and South Africa who show that divesting from fossil fuels like coal and oil is not only crucial for combatting the climate crisis, but also for ensuring communities’ right to clean water and enhancing their capacity to adapt to climatic changes — especially during a global pandemic. 

We will also spotlight cases in Bolivia, India, Indonesia and Guatemala where governments and companies promote technical solutions to the climate crisis, such as hydropower and geothermal, which protect corporate profits while negatively impacting critical ecosystems along with people’s access to land, food security and water.

Through these stories, we aim to make companies, governments and investors aware of how their actions are deepening water insecurity and contamination in communities, and of the leadership of women as water defenders. Together, we demand that they:  

  • Divest from fossil fuel industries violating women’s right to water.
  • Guarantee women’s right to water via gender-just climate solutions. Solutions should be sustainable and culturally appropriate with the input, consent and control of women and local communities.
  • Incorporate women’s demands, needs, practices and proposals in water access, management and governance.

Only by joining forces can we truly guarantee women’s rights to clean water and women’s participation in decision-making on its use, management and conservation. So join the campaign and amplify women environmental defender’s voices one post at a time with the aim to make our demands known. You can also find this campaign statement in Bahasa Indonesia, Filipino, French, Georgian, Hindi, Mongolian, Nepali, Portuguese and Spanish.

Check out the social media toolkit, available in Bahasa Indonesia, English, Filipino, French, Georgian, Hindi, Mongolian, Nepali, Portuguese, Spanish.

You can follow the campaign on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using #WeWomenAreWater and #MujeresSomosAgua.



Campaign stories

Honduran women weave a fabric of solidarity in the face of extractivism

Women restore mangrove forests in the Niger Delta

Women in South Africa: Water a fundamental right in the time of COVID-19

The women defending life amid the flames in Bolivia’s Chiquitanía

“We’re not going to eat eucalyptus”: Qom women organize to protect their territory

Women in Central Java demand end to mud pollution from geothermal exploration

The women of Mazvihwa restore their land and water

Yumao women lead resistance against Rositas Dam

“They are killing the river”: Q’eqchi’ women defend the sacred Cahabón

Adivasi women in Rajasthan’s Zawar Mines reclaim their rights

Rural young feminists defend Motagua River through artivism

Female herders in Mongolia protect their oases from mining companies

Women in the Bolivian Amazon organize against oil exploration

The women of Entre Rios lead awareness campaigns on water use and management

The women of the Bolivian Chaco propose municipal laws to address water crisis

Mayan Ch’orti’ women recover their territorial rights and water access

Protecting the Madre de Dios Forest that gives us water

Womn’s struggle for water and sanitation in a pandemic

The story of Mahakam River in Indonesia: From the commons to extractivism and back


Above illustration by @Naandeyeah.

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