This blog celebrates the amazing women in our portfolio – many of whom work in male-dominated contexts, some putting their lives on the line to protect nature; to defend their communities; or to promote the rights of women and girls. Their work is inspirational.
Photo: Transporting seedlings to the planting site; credit: Hutan
Mabuwaya Foundation’s Deputy Director Tess Gatan Balbas is dedicating her life to preventing the extinction of the Critically Endangered Philippine Crocodile. She passionately leads her staff and local communities in Luzon Province so that they can live a more peaceful existence with the species, helping to restore its habitat and providing a breeding programme that boosts survival rates. In recognition of her hard work, passion and knowledge, Tess was awarded a prestigious Whitley Award for Nature in 2014.
In North Kivu in Eastern DRC Reseau CREF is working across its membership of around 30 local organisations to improve gender equality within natural resource management. With rape rates at around 50 an hour, the DRC – and especially the East of the country – is one of the most dangerous places to be a woman. Marginalised groups, including poor rural communities and indigenous forest peoples, are particularly at risk. Through its work to empower women to manage and conserve forests, Reseau CREF is slowly helping to change gender dynamics and attitudes to women, which will ultimately contribute towards making this a safer place for women to live and work.
In Papua New Guinea (PNG), Act Now! was co-founded by lawyer and activist Effrey Dademo. Effrey is helping to lead the fight against destructive land grabs for agribusiness and logging which threaten the vast biological and cultural diversity in PNG. While politics are extremely male-dominated in PNG, Effrey is providing a strong role model for women.