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Advancing Climate Justice

Climate change is a global threat, and poor, rural and Indigenous women are hardest hit. They are impacted first and worst by the food shortages, droughts, floods and diseases linked to this growing danger. 

These women are more than victims. They are sources of solutions, inventing innovative, locally-rooted responses that offer a blueprint for effective, global action. Yet their priorities, experiences and knowledge are notably missing from economic and environmental policymaking spaces.

MADRE partners with local women’s organizations to take action against climate change. We help advance grassroots solutions like building clean water systems to guard against drought and seed banking to preserve future harvests. And we bring grassroots women's voices to influence national and international climate policy discussions.

How We Work


We fund Indigenous and rural women as key climate defenders. We support them to develop community protections and to advocate in policy discussions.

Capacity Building

We train our partners to build advocacy skills that ensure that climate policy is strengthened by a gender perspective. We facilitate activist exchanges, and we mobilize public education campaigns.

Legal Advocacy

We bring Indigenous and rural women's demands to policymaking spaces, and we advocate for the protection of land rights under threat from war and corporate exploitation.

How do we know when we've succeeded?
  • Indigenous and rural women are equipped with knowledge and resources to offer leadership and meet urgent needs in their communities.

  • Indigenous and rural women have the skills and access to participate effectively in climate policy decisions at the local, national and international levels, and succeed in challenging dominant economic models of consumption and extraction.

  • Leaders in public opinion, philanthropy, policymaking and international advocacy increasingly recognize the value of women’s knowledge and expertise in climate change response.

Highlights of Our Work

Kenya: Mobilizing Indigenous Women Climate Defenders

The Indigenous Information Network works in rural communities to build protections against climate change, such as greenhouses and rain harvesting projects. They mobilize to bring Indigenous women climate defenders to local and international decision-making spaces, where they can advocate for funding and policy support for their sustainable climate solutions.

Colombia: Defending Land Rights

Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN), a collective of rights organizations, organizes to promote Afro-Colombian leadership and to protect their territorial and cultural rights. As they defend their communities' land rights, they hold the line against deforestation, mining and other resource exploitation that worsens pollution and climate change.

When Francia Marquez, a PCN activist, was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2018, she said, “Our time has come, we must act, we have a responsibility to future generations to leave a better world, in which taking care of life is more important than producing cumulative wealth.”

Sudan: Unionizing to Strengthen Women Farmers

Zenab for Women in Development organizes women farmers to exchange strategies and advocate for their rights. They founded their country's first women farmers union and have used their shared strength to push for access to resources and tools previously reserved for men. As their harvests have suffered due to protracted drought, their mutual support is especially vital. "Climate change is a reality, " says Fatima Ahmed, the president of Zenab. "We want the women to be equipped to deal with drought and other threats."

Your Support in Action

In Kenya, MADRE partners with Indigenous women leaders who organize to build healthier and more resilient communities. Together, we combat the dangers of climate change by creating sustainable farming initiatives and protecting water sources. We're excited to share these two videos, to give you a glimpse at that work with our local partner, the Indigenous Information Network.
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