#Wednesday4Women: Open Letter to Alok Sharma

#Wednesday4Women is an initiative that brings together organisations, activists, allies and leaders across the women and girls sector in the UK and globally. It is part of the #CrackTheCrises campaign and the #GreatBigGreenWeek.

Dear Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP,

Without gender justice there is no climate justice.

Women and girls are bearing the burden of the climate crisis. Its damaging impacts threaten their livelihoods and reverses progress made towards equality. Climate change is increasing violence against women and girls including domestic abuse, child marriage and sexual assault. It also keeps girls out of school. Women in the global south in particular are faced with a crisis they did nothing to cause.

Climate action that prioritises gender equality and supports women and girls’ leadership will be more effective. Diverse women’s and girls' participation and empowerment must be a central part of the response to the climate crisis.

Despite leading the response to climate change, women are under-represented at every level of decision-making when it comes to climate change response, especially women of colour, those with disabilities and those from the global south.

Women’s organisations receive a tiny share of climate finance.

The time is now for governments to take urgent action to support women and girls as leaders and frontline responders. As President of the COP26 UN climate talks, The UK Government has an influential and critical role to play in accelerating global ambition to stop the climate crisis, leading by example, and securing commitments that put women and girls first.

Climate change is the fight that unites us all. That’s why as supporters of gender justice and women’s rights we are calling on the UK Government to make sure they deliver:

  • The unprecedented ambition needed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees - As the world’s scientists have pointed out, every fraction of a degree counts as the world’s most marginalised women and girls feel the impacts first and hardest
  • Increased international financial support to communities - including women’s rights organisations - on the frontline of the climate crisis to adapt to climate change and address loss and damage
  • Specific targets of how the UK’s climate finance will deliver on gender equality and reach women’s organisations
  • Investment for a fossil fuel free future that creates green jobs, and prioritises a feminist and women’s rights perspective
  • Climate decision making which is transparent, inclusive and equitable and ensures diverse women’s voices and participation, including in the UK’s COP26 team  


Annie Lennox, Founder of The Circle 
Helen Pankhurst, Scholar, Women's Rights Activist and Writer
Hilda Flavia Nakabuye, Founder Fridays for the Future, Uganda 
Livia Firth, Co-founder of The Circle
Lemn Sissay, Poet, Author and Broadcaster
Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu - Lawyer, Author & Activist
Baroness Liz Sugg, UK House of Lords
Baroness Sheehan, UK APPG on PDRH
Rt. Hon. Lord McNally  
Baroness Jolly
The Baroness Hodgson of Arbinger CBE
The Baroness Uddin
Caroline Lucas MP
Chris Law MP
Sarah Champion MP
Virendra Sharma MP
Wera Hobhouse MP
Simon Hughes, Former Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Laurie Lee, CEO, Care International UK
Melissa Green, General Secretary, National Federation of Women’s Institutes
Frances Longley, Chief Executive, ActionAid UK  
Ben Margolis, Interim Director, The Climate Coalition
Alasdair Harris, Executive Director of Blue Ventures  
Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, Chief Executive, Christian Aid  
Anushree Rao, Director of Policy and Campaigns, Concern Worldwide (UK)  
Beadie Finzi, Director, Doc Society  
Caroline Bernard, Director of Communications, Young Women's Trust 
Carry Somers, Global Operations Director, Fashion Revolution  
Catherine Pettengell, Interim Director, Climate Action Network UK (CAN-UK)   
Danny Sriskandarajah, CEO Oxfam GB  
Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson, Director, UK Women's Budget Group  
Emma Bridge, Chief Executive, Community Energy England  
Hannah Swirsky, Campaigns Coordinator, Centenary Action Group  
Jean-Michel Grand, Executive Director, Action Against Hunger UK  
Jessica Woodroffe, Director, Gender and Development Network  
Joan, International Coordinator & Clare, Evaluation Officer, the Rise Up Movement   
Jon Hallé, CEO, Sharenergy Co-op  
John Monks. Founder & Director, Curve Creative  
Judy Ling Wong CBE, Honorary President, Black Environment Network  
Kate Metcalf, Co-Director, Wen (Women's Environmental Network)  
Kayla Ente, CEO, Brighton & Hove Energy Services Co-operative  
Kirsty McNeill, Executive Director of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns, Save the Children UK  
Lisa Ashford, CEO Ethex & Energise Africa  
Lucy Siegle, writer and broadcaster  
Martin Cottingham, Director of External Relations and Advocacy, Islamic Relief Worldwide  
Mary Gillie Director Energy Local CIC  
Maysa Ismael, Director, Gender Action for Peace and Security  
Michael Gidney, Chief Executive, The Fairtrade Foundation 
Nigel Harris, Chief Executive, Tearfund  
Raakhi Shah, Chief Executive, The Circle NGO
Rachel Hayes, Associate Director, Regen  
Rose Caldwell, CEO, Plan International UK  
Rosie Gillam, Director, Egni Coop  
Sam Bickersteth, Chief Executive, Opportunity International  
Sarah Roberts, CEO of Practical Action
Sonya Bedford MBE, Head of Energy, Stephens Scown  
Stephanie Draper, Chief Executive, Bond  
Tim Wainwright, Chief Executive, WaterAid UK