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Women's Environmental Network

Women's Environmental Network

Charity information

Women's Environmental Network

Women’s Environmental Network (WEN) is a national membership organisation and registered charity (no. 1010397) and the only one in the UK to work exclusively for women and the environment.

WEN was formed in 1988 by a group of women who realised that existing environmental organisations within the UK were ignorant of the differences in gender that meant women’s relationship with the environment (biologically, socially and emotionally) was different from men’s. As such, key issues, vital to both women and the environment, were not being addressed.

The charity aims to:
1. Empower a network of women to make environmental change
2. Increase awareness of environmental issues amongst women
3. Influence environmental decision-making

WEN has a vision of creating a world where women are aware of their ability to change the environment for the better and come together actively to make a difference to environmental decision-making.

Our major themes are links between the environment and health, climate change and waste prevention. Current projects include:
· work on real nappies – part of which is bringing local authorities together in London to set up a real nappy incentive scheme
· national food projects – developing networks of food growers that make a difference and share experiences
· gender and chemicals – looking at how gender influences decision-making in a particular industry
· a women’s manifesto for climate change – driving forward a plan for action not just words.

The key to our success is the national network of groups through which information and campaigning is disseminated, and our dedicated force of volunteers who work to ensure this happens. We are also affiliated to many like-minded groups to make certain our reach is as wide as possible.

Past successes include:
· influencing legislation – early successes include initiating the Waste Minimisation Act 1998 and more recently in 2006 working to prevent the weakening of REACH, the new EU Chemicals Legislation
· changing behaviour – for example with our highly successful healthy flooring campaign in 2001 and our ongoing local food growing projects
· raising awareness – amongst the public (62% of women surveyed in March 2006 were not aware that the government was reviewing its energy policy), amongst local government (90% of local authorities supported Real Nappy Week in 2006) and amongst businesses (reducing harmful chemicals in toiletries).

With environmental issues well established in the mainstream our challenge for the next few years is to be the catalyst for translating awareness into effective action – demonstrating that all women have the ability to change the environment for the better.

Founded 1989

  • Tower Hamlets Community Gardens

    WEN has been working directly with small community organisations, offering support to grou... More