Razan al Mubarak for POLITICO: “The Best Way to Celebrate Women is to Nurture them as Leaders” 

To mark International Women’s Day 2023, IUCN’s first female president from the Arab world Razan Al Mubarak penned an op-ed for POLITICO calling for women’s voices to be heard, included, and celebrated.

In the op-ed, Ms. Al Mubarak highlights the diverse range of experiences that women around the world face as they deal with the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss:

This morning, on International Women’s Day, women all around the world woke up – and went about their lives, business as usual. A mother in China started a long day of work as a farmer; she is the primary provider for her family. A young girl in Kenya departed on a trek – more than half an hour walk away from home – to fetch wood which will serve as fuel for her family. A mother in Miami leaves for school a little earlier, driving her kids through unfamiliar roads since their usual route has flooded. An Arhuaco matriarch in Colombia gathered the ever-dwindling supply of plant medicines that will help her take care of her people. A woman in Turkey, who recently lost everything, has begun the difficult process of rebuilding with the help of her remaining friends and family.

Ms. Al Mubarak also recognizes the fundamental role of women in their communities, and makes a call to nurture women as leaders at the highest level:

These women are a central part of their communities, and the backbone of their families. They are the key decision makers about food, fuel, child rearing – including education, health, and family planning – and land, household, and resource management. They also, unfortunately, constitute the majority of the world’s poor – and they’re most impacted by the twin threats of climate change and loss of nature. But in the highest level of representation – where their leadership is most needed – their voices are largely absent. Today – and every day – the best way to celebrate women is not only to include and elevate their voices, but to nurture them as leaders. The future of our planet depends on it. 

Read the full op-ed by Razan Al Mubarak on POLITICO — and Happy International Women’s Day!