WEA Women of the 2019 Indonesia Accelerator: Putu Ayu Aniek

Project: Building Climate Resiliency in Indonesia

Topics: , , ,

Putu Ayu Aniek is a community organizer from Bali, Indonesia. Growing up in Bali, Aniek felt first-hand the growing impact of tourism on her community. Realizing how tourism could easily degrade the culture and people of her community, she has made it her mission to create a more holistic and sustainable avenue for tourism in her hometown. As the Project Lead for Kelecung Kelod Tourism, she works closely with members of her community as a leader to create experiences for tourists that highlight the natural beauty of her village, while also preserving the local culture and protecting natural resources.

In addition to ecotourism, Aniek is passionate about empowering and educating the women and children of her community. In her training programs she emphasizes sustainable living in the hopes of generating greater awareness around the importance of preserving the environment and the role it plays in her community’s lives and livelihoods. As Aniek’s message spreads throughout her community, she recognizes the need to develop certain skills and knowledge in order to extend her efforts. 

In this spirit of growth, Aniek is participating in the 2019 Indonesia Women’s Earth Alliance. The Accelerator will provide her with opportunities to expand her knowledge on environmental technologies, networks, and support that can strengthen her ability as an advocate to create even more positive change in her community and beyond. While participating in online skill-building, working groups, and collaborations with other leaders and advocates, Aniek will build a network of allies that will support and empower her efforts to continue fomenting change in the sustainable tourism industry in her community in Bali. 

After the accelerator, Aniek will return to her community with new strategies for community engagement, knowledge to share, and a heightened ability to engage those around her to further the sustainability and equality of her community.

Read more about the 2019 Indonesia Women’s Earth Alliance Accelerator, and stay updated on how the women leaders are doing on the WEA-Indonesia Facebook page

New UN Report Confirms Gender Gap in Food Security

Over 820 million people worldwide currently suffer from food insecurity and hunger. As the High Level Political Forum continues this week to track the world’s progress on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)of which Zero Hunger is the #2 goala report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released earlier this week reveals that despite the past decade’s progress, in the last three years both hunger and obesity have increased worldwide. Food insecurity has especially grown in countries with low economic growth or high income inequality. This phenomenon is often coupled with structural inequalities and existing power dynamics. The study points to social exclusion as a catalyst to hunger, as political, social, and economic power converge against the already vulnerable.

It is at this intersection that women and other marginalized communities are made most vulnerable. Using data collected from over 140 countries throughout five years, “The State of Food Insecurity and Nutrition in the World” report confirmed that women have greater rates of food insecurity than their male counterparts across every continent. Poverty and access to education were the major determinants in hunger between men and women, and the gender gap was heightened in poor rural and poor urban settings. However, even among men and women from the same region, education level, and poverty status, women are 10% more likely to be food insecure than men, marking gender discrimination as a significant factor in women’s access to food. 

According to the report, in rural and agricultural areas, increased income for women improves household nutrition and food consumption. However, women in some agricultural regions continue to occupy an unbalanced role: although they account for 43% of the agricultural workforce, women are rarely able to hold title to land and are responsible for caring for the home and children in addition to their agriculture work. Consequently, women in developing countries spend on average three more hours a day on unpaid work than men in the same communities. The FAO report urges the eradication of gender inequality and other forms of discrimination as “either the means to improving food security and nutrition, or the outcome of doing so.”

The grassroots women leaders WEA partners with around the world see the on-the-ground reality of this data every day in their communities. In Southern Indiawhere WEA partnered with the GREEN Foundation to build the skills of 40 local women in sustainable farming and seed saving practices to enhance their income generation capacitynearly 72% of employed women are in the agriculture sector. These women are responsible for 60-80% of food production, yet they comprise barely 11% of landowners. And in Kenya, where WEA and WWANC’s Kenya Women’s Earth Alliance Accelerator recently wrapped up, nearly 80% of Kenyans work in agriculture, while only 20% of Kenyan land is usable for farming as drought makes farmers’ livelihoods unpredictable. 

But we’ve also seen that when women’s leadership is centered, and they have the skills, tools and alliances they need to scale their solutions for environmental and climate challenges, a ripple effect is felt throughout communities. In fact, “just giving women the same access as men to agricultural resources could increase production on women’s farms in developing countries by 20 to 30 percent. This could raise total agricultural production in developing countries by 2.5 to 4 percent, which could in turn reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 12 to 17 percent, or 100 to 150 million people.

Women’s leadership and economic empowerment improves our world. When gender inequalities are reduced and women gain social, economic, and political parity, hunger decreases and nations, the planet, and future generations thrive. 

Read the full FAO report here, and learn more about WEA’s programs to catalyze and accelerate women-led solutions to food insecurity and more here.

Say hello to our summer interns: Hey, Amanda!


Ever wonder who’s helping to keep the drumbeat of our social media going? Who’s the magic behind our SEO? Who’s got her finger on the pulse of our analytics and insights? Please help us welcome Amanda Mier to the team this summer!

Amanda is our social media maven and comms extraordinaire (though her resume will probably say Social Media + Communications Intern). She’s a Junior at UC Berkeley, with a passion for purpose-driven content creation and outreach, and we love working with her. We can’t wait to see all that’s possible through her thoughtful and creative support this summer!

Do us a favor? Head over to one of our social channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn) and say hey to Amanda!

Name: Amanda Mier
Role at WEA: Social Media + Communications Intern
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia

Fun Fact: I taught myself Hebrew in six months before my Bat Mitzvah (and immediately forgot it all).

Why did you want to intern with WEA? I love writing and knew I wanted to gain experience with content creation, but I also wanted to be engaged with and passionate about the work I’m doing. WEA presented an intersection of two things I care deeply about, and two of the most pressing issues facing our world right now: climate change and women’s rights. I feel like a lot of people only consider the deteriorating ecological situation as a problem hurting the physical earth, but that can compartmentalize and ignore the communities of already vulnerable women who are negatively impacted by climate change. WEA focuses on this intersection, and that’s what drew me in!

What’s your go-to strategy for lessening your environmental/climate footprint? It’s really small, but I am working on being more cognizant of how many pre-packaged or disposable products I am buying and consuming. When I was younger my grandparents (who lived on a self-sufficient farm) would always talk about the dangers of conspicuous consumption, and now that I’m older I am recognizing the sheer quantity I use and throw away in a week, so I am making an effort to minimize the amount of plastic I buy and reuse whenever possible.

Tell us about a woman who inspires you. Agh. I hate being cliche, but I am really inspired by my mom. She grew up on a farm in the foothills of Northern California without running water or electricity and ended up getting her Master’s in Public Policy from Berkeley (Go Bears!) before having kids. She returned to work for a non-profit to de-stigmatize depression in children and teens, and now she is in law school to become a public defender. I think she emblematizes how you can accomplish anything you work for, and how you can find your passion at any age.

What’s your favorite thing to do in the Bay Area? I love walking around the neighborhoods in Berkeley and looking through used book stores! Another of my favorite things to do is BART into San Francisco with my friends and spend the day picnicking and window-shopping in the Haight-Ashbury. I do not hike, because I cannot walk upstairs without getting out of breath, but I’ve found that the views are amazing when my friends force me to exercise.

Any community events coming up you’re excited about (bonus points if it’s women-led/organized!) I’m really excited to volunteer for Kamala Harris’ campaign here in the Bay Area!

What are you currently reading / watching / listening to? I just consumed all of Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridges’ masterpiece of a TV show, in one sitting and was left heart-wrenched by the combination of quick humor and one of the most accurate portrayals of grief I’ve ever seen. It’s only two seasons and twelve episodes total, so if anyone has six hours to spare I highly recommend. I also loved the second season of the podcast In the Dark, which focused unflinchingly on the flaws and racial biases in the criminal justice system. It was really eye-opening.

WEA Women of the 2019 Indonesia Accelerator: Rubama

Project: Building Climate Resiliency in Indonesia

Topics: , , , , ,

Rubama is a community organizer from Aceh, Banda Aceh, Indonesia. She has worked for fourteen years to engage the women of her community in an effort to protect the natural resources of the region. 

After her region was ravaged by a tsunami in 2004, Rubama recognized how the approach to disaster relief resulted in the degradation of the community social fabric and values, and how women became an increasingly vulnerable group in an already patriarchal society. Equipped with a vision and her personal mission of community resilience, Rubama strove to regain social cohesion while promoting sustainability and created a waste management program for her village. She continues to develop this resilience through her current work at the Gampong Nusa community, which she has transformed into a sustainable tourism destination. Rubama has advocated for the local community to adopt sustainable waste management, has trained women about upcycling plastic waste and composting, and has developed alternative economic revenue for the local community.

As an organizer, she is deeply passionate about establishing ecological justice based on gender-equality in her community. Working alongside other women in Aceh, Rubama collaborates with and trains them in creating handiwork, growing produce, and upcycling. Rubama also gives local women’s groups the platform they need in order to voice their concerns and fight for their rights in realizing ecological justice. She promotes social forestry, a village forest strategy which includes and encourages women’s engagement in discussing issues that disproportionately impact them. In this spirit, Rubama serves as a program officer for HAkA, an Aceh-based NGO working to restore the forest and protect the overall environment.

Rubama is furthering her advocacy work through networking and education, and will be apart of the 2019 Women’s Earth Alliance Indonesia Accelerator. She hopes to gain knowledge on project management tools and avenues of impact assessment to help strengthen her existing community organization skills. During this accelerator WEA will work with Rubama, along with her women leader peers, to develop strategies for effective communication, resource mobilization, and leadership, that will expand the reach and scale of their advocacy work. With this gained support and knowledge from the accelerator, Rubama will be able to return to Aceh with tools to advance her vision of gender-equality based ecological justice for her entire community, as well as a developed network to support and scale the impact of her work. 

Read more about the 2019 Indonesia Women’s Earth Alliance Accelerator, and stay updated on how the women leaders are doing on the WEA-Indonesia Facebook page.

In Honor of Moms Everywhere


Happy Mother’s Day

Mothers come in many forms. Today, WEA honors the work of mothers and community caregivers around the world—women who are mothering children and mothering movements; birthing babies and birthing transformation in their communities.

This Mother’s Day, support these mothers with a gift in honor of a mother in your life.

Give a gift in honor of mom. Click here to donate to WEA's work.

All photos were taken by WEA partner Spell & The Gypsy Collective on their recent trip to Nairobi, Kenya to visit with Women in Water and Natural Resource Conservation (WWANC), our partner for the 2019 Kenya Women’s Earth Alliance Accelerator.

Learn more about the 2019 Kenya Acceleratorwhich catalyzes the efforts of grassroots Kenyan women leaders protecting their communities and ecosystems from climate threats like drought, coastal biodiversity collapse, and food insecurity—and join us in scaling women-led environmental and climate solutions today.