For over a century March 8th was chosen to represent International Women’s Day, a global day to acknowledge the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity and equality.

This year I decided I won’t celebrate IWD by acknowledging famous leaders only, but also by celebrating some women I met in my life. These women changed my perspective and influenced me to thrive and give back to the planet. To these women, to my climate heroes here’s a heartfelt thank you!

Gratitude to my Mom

I can’t thank my mom enough for raising me value-oriented. Everything she had taught me was reflected on who I am today. This blog is for you mom, and for all moms out there creating meaning and shaping tomorrow.

My mom was my first climate hero, she used to grow all different types of plants and flowers in our home. Our small balcony garden looked absolutely lovely, our home always smelled fresh and the fragrant of summer jasmines always filled her hands. She used to leave jasmines on my work desk. I grew up loving nature and appreciating the beauty of the colorful earth we live on.

Gratitude to Climate Heroes

In Egypt I met women living in rural areas, these women were uneducated, but aware. Awareness made sense to me back then when I understood the importance of the continuous cycle of learning counter to education. I met people who do recycling by default for both waste water and plastics. A women I was fascinated by did arts and crafts from recycled materials like paper and plastics in Aswan, Egypt and she crafted Egyptian stories on them and sold these art pieces to tourists. It was an absolute joy for me to see a women who didn’t finish her education leading her own business and saving the environment.

To highlight women climate heroes work, I traveled to Tanzania this year to interview women doing eco-businesses to support their families and mitigate the climate. It’s a breathtaking sensation you get when you see women with no business background doing legit financial plans that I can’t myself do. The culture of reusing and recycling is not just a culture of care, it’s also a culture of understanding resources. Limited resources means limited opportunities. These women do what they can with what they have, and my god they have a lot to give! Everyday in the western world we see designers and media celebrities talking about minimalism and eco-designs, while it’s already reflected in the art produced in rural areas with no water and electricity infrastructure. I wanted to highlight the amazing work happening in the U.S. as well, so I teamed up with a partner in Washington, DC and we started a platform committed to sharing the stories of bold women pioneering as thought-leaders, eco-preneurs and trailblazers in the world of environmental sustainability. We started EcoPrenelles, and I was very lucky to feature a couple of environmentally conscious business leaders from Washington, DC and New York. You can read their stories on the blog.

Women all over the world are some of the most important players in tackling climate change. We see, feel and measure the role of women in leading businesses, upbringing environmentally conscious children, and influencing change. So if you are a leader, a mom, and an influencer. Thank you for making Earth a better place to live on and here’s a call to make your IWD your day! – everyday!

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