Women in the world – spotlight on Mary Robinson

Women in the world – IWECI Summit delegate series

Featuring the 100 women attending the International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit along with Natalie Isaacs, 1MW CEO and Founder, in New York from September 20-23.


Mary Robinson, First woman President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Mary Robinson is a passionate, forceful advocate for gender equality, women’s participation in peace-building and human dignity. Last year, she became 1 Million Women’s first international ambassador as she joined us in Sydney for a special evening of inspiring discussion amongst women.

First female president of Ireland

Mary Robinson was elected Irish President in 1990 and served for seven years as a principled and transformative leader who continued to fight for equality and women’s rights throughout her time in office. Famously, she visited Rwanda where she brought world attention to the suffering there in the aftermath of its civil war.


Mary Robinson with Natalie Isaacs, 1MW CEO and Founder


Mary Robinson with Natalie Isaacs, and 1MW ambassadors in Sydney.

Human rights champion

Robinson became the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on 12 September 1997 and stayed in the role until 2002. Mary Robinson integrated human rights into the United Nations system and became renowned as an outspoken voice dedicated to investigating and exposing human rights abuses across the world.

Tackling Climate Change

Currently based in Dublin, Mary Robinson heads the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice (MRFCJ), a centre for education and advocacy on sustainable and people-centred development in the world’s poorest communities.

Recently Mrs Robinson emphasised in online debate organised by the AlertNet Climate team of the Thomson Reuters Foundation and CARE International’s Poverty Environment and Climate Change Network…

“We have to bring out the injustice of how climate change is affecting poor communities and poor countries most severely, even though they are least responsible.”

The Foundation provides a space for facilitating action on climate justice to empower the poorest people and help in areas like access to sustainable energy, food nutrition and security and women’s leadership on gender and climate change.

A very significant achievement for the MRFCJ last year was at COP18, the UN Climate Conference in Doha, when a decision was reached to strengthen women’s representation and participation in future COP proceedings. A decision which moves adopts the goal of gender balance and ensures that ‘gender and climate change’ will be a standing item on the agenda at future COPs!

Mrs Robinson believes we need to highlight climate justice amongst all stakeholders, all the people in this world have a part to play…

“We need climate action to catch fire. We need it to be a genuine movement.”

  • See all Nat in New York posts here
  • See the full list of IWECI summit delegates here.

Don’t forget to head over to our website! We are daughters, mothers, sisters and grandmothers getting on with practical climate action to live better for us and the planet. Join the movement at www.1millionwomen.com.au

Woman in the world – Sharing the stories of inspiring woman around the world who are taking action on climate change.

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