Elevating the Voices of Women Changemakers in Climate Sector

April 20, 2023

Panelists Aly Rahim, Ann-Sofie Jespersen, Ann Hudock, Kathleen Rogers, and Nisha Krishnan were in person at Counterpart’s D.C. office for the Women Changemakers panel.

Women civil society leaders have played a vital role in climate action and have made significant contributions to the field, but women leaders often face unique challenges, including gender-based discrimination and limited access to resources and decision-making spaces. We hosted a roundtable discussion on April 10, 2023 with The World Bank’s Global Partnership for Social Accountability to highlight the voices and experiences of women civil society leaders working in the climate sector. 

The open discussion was an opportunity for building alliances across sectors. The aim of the event was to create a platform for sharing ideas, strategies, and best practices, while promoting gender equality and empowering women leaders to continue driving transformative climate action. 

The panel featured Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network, Nisha Krishnan, the director Climate Resilience in Africa for the World Resources Institute, Diana Cardenas Monar, general coordinator of GFLAC, Counterpart President and CEO Ann Hudock, and Ann-Sofie Jespersen, senior social development specialist, and Aly Rahim, program manager, both of GPSA.  

To make change, you must be willing to shake things up, said Rogers, who stressed that supporting women leaders in the climate sectors starts with accountability surrounding funding and reporting. 

Audience members engage with the panelists on topics such as women’s access to climate finance.

The panelists highlighted the need to empower women to access climate finance and integrate gender and climate into policies and planning. Challenges in ensuring local grassroots organization receive funding for climate initiatives was also discussed, and Hudock emphasized the urgency to create networks of women climate leaders for support and access to advocacy platforms.

Monar discussed the need for increased citizen involvement in climate finance–especially from women– by creating more political space for citizen engagement and oversight, which she said is crucial in the face of rising authoritarianism globally. 

Despite the strides women leaders have made in the climate sector, the need to support women changemakers is still great. 

“We need to build capacity, and we need to start early,” she said. 

To learn more about how Counterpart supports women in biodiversity conservation work, read this profile from our Coastal Climate Resiliency Program in the Dominican Republic.