international women's day
Jessica Rees
Sustainability and Engagement Officer
2 minute read

Let’s celebrate the women who have gone above and beyond to protect our environment this International Women’s Day. First held in 1911, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated annually on 8th March. It aims to celebrate the cultural, social, economic, and political achievements of women around the world.

This year the theme is ‘Inspire Inclusion’, which aims to forge a more inclusive world for women, promoting a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment.

Climate and health are intertwined with issues like health inequalities, so let’s celebrate the women who have inspired action in this area…

Autumn Peltier – water and sustainability activist

Autumn Peltier raised awareness of the polluted, bacteria-riddled water that the Canadian Indigenous people must use, due to lack of funding to manage the water systems.

Autumn emphasised the health impacts of polluted water, with around 90,000 illnesses in Canada being caused by contaminated water. She was able to share her powerful messages with organisations like the United Nations and at the age of 15 was appointed as the Chief Water Commissioner of the Anishinabek Nation.

Wangari Maathai – Environmental activist, founder of the Green Belt Movement

Wangari Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977. The Green Belt Movement is an organization in Kenya that empowers women through the planting of trees, whilst addressing the global issue of deforestation and promoting environmental conservation.

More than 30 million trees were planted, with the seedlings being sold by the Kenyan women within the initiative. This allowed around 900,000 women to live a healthier life due to tree planting initiatives and education.

Fiona Godlee – Editor-In-Chief of The British Medical Journal 2005 – 2021

Fiona Godlee was appointed the first female editor-in-chief of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in 2005. She is known for using her platforms to advocate for sustainable healthcare practices, including publishing articles in the BMJ about how climate change affects human health.

Fiona supports action within the medical community and asks other health professionals to recognise climate change as a public health issue as well as an environmental issue – shining a light on one of the most important concerns of the century.

We fully support Fiona’s message, with the links between climate and health core to our work at Care Without Carbon.