WIDE Austria partner WoMin fight for gender justice during COP21 and after

WoMin was in Paris with a large delegation of thirteen. The purpose was, according to their South African coordinator Samantha Hargreaves: “to learn from others, to tell our stories, to strategise, to strengthen global connections and to take action!”.

WoMin <http://womin.org.za/> is an African gender and extractives alliance, which works alongside national and regional movements and popular organisations of women, mining-impacted communities and peasants. Originally hosted by the International Alliance on Natural Resources in Africa (IANRA) since October 2013 WoMin is now legally registered and will be operating as a fully independent organisation from January 2016 as a women-led, women’s rights alliance firmly oriented towards women’s organising and movement-building regionally.

WoMin allies met in September; they shared and strategized about their fight against fossil fuels under the slogan ‘African women uniting for food, energy and climate justice’. The outcome is a quite powerful declaration. Here you find the full version:


Key Demands

Energy justice for African women means:

Leaving 80% of all known fossil fuel reserves in the ground!

Developing a rapid global transition from fossil fuels as the primary source of energy to a transformed renewable energy system which:

  • Respects the land and natural resource rights of communities, and women especially
  • Guarantees work and decent livelihoods for local communities, and women in particular
  • Treats energy as collective wealth from which all citizens must benefit
  • Guarantees clean energy that is affordable and accessible to all
  • Derives from government-supported research and financial investment in popular, democratically controlled, decentralised, socialised renewable energy options in which we play a leading role given our gendered interest in energy

Climate and ecological justice for African women means:

A binding, international climate treaty of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to reduce carbon emissions to a maximum 1.50C global average warming, and which clearly reflects the principle of differentiated historical responsibility

  • All communities enjoy clean living environments that guarantee good health and general well-being
  • Our governments develop, implement and enforce environmental laws and policies, which hold corporates fully accountable for all social and environmental costs of their activities
  • A binding global treaty on transnational corporations which is ratified and enforced by all governments acting in unity to curb the power of corporates
  • Full compensation, with specific provisions for women, by polluters for environmental devastation and social impacts of fossil fuels extraction, refining and combustion, and related climate change effects
  • An international court which prosecutes corporates for their transgressions of the environment, people’s livelihoods, and women’s bodies.
  • An end to international finance institution (IFI) financed fossil fuels investments
  • A development paradigm, expressed in development plans at all levels, which puts at the very centre the livelihoods, cultural interests, health and well-being of citizens, and poor women in particular, over the profits of corporates
  • The majority of women in Africa – the farmers, traders, care workers – are the primary beneficiaries of climate debt reparations, adaptation funds and mitigation strategies

Gender justice means that women…Our key resolutions and actions from this meeting

We resolve to:

  1. Strengthen women’s organising and movement-building where we find ourselves – in our families, communities, nationally and internationally
  2. Strengthen an African sisterhood – a movement of African women in solidarity which takes forward our vision of justice for African women outlined above
  3. Build a women-led Africa-wide campaign for climate, food and energy justice which will aim to strengthen an African sisterhood and deepen our regional movement for a total transformation of the dominant development paradigm.


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