Women are Key to Sustainable Development – Almas Jiwani’s Address at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of UNEP in Nairobi, Kenya

NAIROBI, KENYA–(Marketwired – Oct. 6, 2016) –

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

Women are key to sustainable development globally, especially in the developing world. Providing energy efficiency in cooking, housing, lighting and communication, improved access to alternate energy, and encouraging and supporting grass-root entrepreneurship and entertainment will benefit women more than their biological counterparts, said Almas Jiwani, CEO of the Almas Jiwani Foundation (AJF) while addressing the 2nd United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya, that took place from May 24th to 27th, 2016 at the UN headquarters in Gigiri.

Instead of a mere dialogue, the improved access to energy and bringing energy efficient technologies will empower women and girls all over the world. She said that the miracle of technology is knocking on our doors, loudly.” Said Jiwani. She also emphasized that providing small assets to women including livestock will improve their lives significantly. She also stated that by capitalizing on their talents, whether it be entrepreneurship or entertainment, would generate a new kind of micro-economy for those involved women.

Dr. Janet Kabeberi-Macharia, Head, Gender and Social Safeguards Unit United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) pointed out that “they selected a global trendsetter in the fight for environmental conservation and women’s rights, Almas Jiwani to address the esteemed UNEA 2 Gender Forum.” Dr. Kabeberi-Macharia stated that “the Almas Jiwani Foundation focuses on empowering women through sustainable energy development and access, giving communities the tools and energy they need to become economic actors in the global economy.”

AJF is an organization set in a new paradigm by people from different walks of life cognizant of the realities, recent failures and challenges ahead. They carry with them a promise of finding a niche for a next generation institution and innovative ideas to solve the world’s problems” she added.

The Gender and Environment forum took place on May 24, 2016. Numerous high level speakers for the event were from Civil Society, Governments, and the United Nations. Each speaker discussed gender inequalities and environmental management in exacerbation and mitigation of health risks.

Jiwani was a guest speaker for the High-Level Gender and Environment Forum and the Annual Network for Women Ministers & Leaders for the Environment Breakfast Meeting. The events were co-hosted by the UNEP and Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment (NWMLE). Discussions at the events involved the environment, gender, and health issues related to women. The theme was “Delivering on the Environmental Dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the policy review session entitled Healthy Environment, Healthy People.”

The Annual Network of Women Ministers held a breakfast meeting which was open to all Ministers and Heads of Delegations. At the meeting, Ms. Jiwani called for more action towards Women’s empowerment across the globe by directly addressing disparities in equality, education, entrepreneurship and access to sustainable energy. She voiced the need to reflect, analyze, assess, and recognize socially constructed views on gender.


The foundation’s mission is empowering women and girls through focused projects that directly address gender equality, education, entrepreneurship, employment and energy rights. Through empowering women and girls in targeted areas, AJF hopes to improve societal and economic conditions in the developing world. Projects include providing sustainable energy to provide a better education, better living conditions and to create the environment where women can thrive as entrepreneurs in any region.


Since 2009 UNEP in collaboration with the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment, has held a one day Gender forum on the margins of the then Governing Council/Global Ministerial Forum and recently during the first UNEA. In June 2012 UNEP and the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment launched a Global Call for Action to implement the gender outcomes from the Rio+20 summit and called for concrete priority actions related to gender and environmental sustainability to be addressed by international community and individual governments. The first discussions on the way forward were held on the margins of the first Universal session of the Governing council in February 2013.

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