Building on twenty years of experience in networking, capacity building and advocacy at multiple levels and across sectors, WEDO will mobilize a base of young women as leaders for a sustainable future by infusing human rights and gender equality, environmental sustainability and economic empowerment issues into existing programs and networks that promote and empower young women as leaders, both in the U.S. and worldwide. While billions of dollars have been invested in empowering and educating young women, seldom do programs target global issues comprehensively, and next to none include environmental issues, which young women will be taxed to face. This is WEDO's area of specialty. A mapping of current initiatives focused on young women's empowerment, particularly in STEM, as well as networks of young women across different sectors, will provide the basis for identifying methodologies for leadership development and highlighting gaps in knowledge and capacity building on sustainable development. A portfolio of practical tools [e.g. factsheets, presentations, webinars and social media forums] for information sharing will be created for training and use in these existing programs. Following an outreach and mapping exercise with young women's networks, institutional partners will be secured, ranging from organizations focused on young women's education and women's rights, environmental activist organizations, academic programs that promote women in STEM, and private sector women's professional networks.
In addition, WEDO will utilize its current partners and networks to host skills trainings and interactive dialogues with young women working in international global governance spheres, particularly at upcoming UN events throughout 2012-2013.
Finally, WEDO will connect and mobilize this network of young women through social media. A communications platform, 'Voicing the Future', which was developed through dialogue with young women at Rio+20 and set to launch at the COP18 in Qatar, will host thought pieces from these young women leaders. A minimum of 30 women from varied sectors selected via a blogging competition will be featured; other virtual tools will foster networking and information exchange. Eventual next steps anticipated would include in-person trainings, networking and mobilizing events.
Drawing from existing partnerships, networks, social media platforms and more, and expanding across sectors at multiple levels, WEDO will conduct a strategic mapping exercise to identify critical entry points for mobilizing young women as leaders for a sustainable future. Research, outreach and in-person networks will be key activities. Concretizing at least five new partnerships across public and private sectors by February 2013, WEDO will tailor the design of communications tools for outreach and awareness raising among partners, for use through their own networks. A mini-training and interactive dialogue for young women activists will be held at the UN climate conference in December 2012, Qatar, targeting young women from across key stakeholder groups including NGOs, media, government, academia and business. To promote women's thought leadership and showcase examples of how to be a leader for sustainable development across each sector- whether working the Genius Bar at Apple or working at a humanitarian agency- young women from existing networks and new partners will be invited to be authors on 'Voicing the Future', and activities, information and experiences will be shared through social media. In early 2013, WEDO will concentrate messaging around key international days, e.g. International Women's Day and Earth Day, to highlight messaging and voices from the 'Voicing the Future' blog, hosting trainings and networking events.
In 2012, as the impacts of the worldwide financial recession persist and the patterns of unsustainable production and consumption worsen, the global community continues to face urgent intertwined crises of climate, food and fuel, exacerbated by social and economic inequities and pushing the limits of planetary boundaries. By 2050, the world population will tip 9 billion, women being the majority. Young women are therefore a critical group, poised to be the leaders - across countries and sectors - who understand these global complexities and have the skills and knowledge necessary to work together, build bridges and lead toward a more sustainable world.
Since its founding over twenty years ago, WEDO's work has been driven by the guiding principle that women's organizing and leadership is a driver for sustainability and justice. Through the work of countless leaders and advocates, the organization has a long history of mobilizing women to influence social change towards a sustainable future, providing spaces for collaboration and dialogue on current global issues.
Today, the next generation of women leaders is breaking new ground. Across the world, programs and initiatives aim to transform the paradigms of women's representation - empowering young girls through education and making particular interventions in areas where women have often been underrepresented, such as in finance, science, math, technology and engineering. In boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies, in non-profit and grassroots organizations, on college and school campuses and across social media platforms, women are challenging their place in the pipeline and mobilizing for change. This influential collective of young women, as they push through the barriers, which have kept women out of leadership positions at the highest levels and into new fields, must understand the interconnectedness of our global problems and be capable of leadership that can create a just and sustainable world.
WEDO seeks financial resources to scale up the activities of this initiative. Additionally, as this project aims to promote cross-sectoral networking and partnerships, WEDO seeks implementing partners, particularly from the private sector who are interested in working with WEDO to provide training and capacity building to professional networks of young women in their organizations. WEDO also seeks media and marketing opportunities as well as communications support to develop knowledge tools and webinars through the most advanced and universally accessible technologies.
Implementing partners; Capacity building and training on gender equality, women's rights, and sustainable development, with special focus on climate change and other environmental issues; advocacy training; gender assessment and analyses; gender-responsive budgeting; communications support; best practices information.