WEN was founded in 1988 as a platform for women’s voices in the environmental movement, with a focus on issues closest to women’s health and their everyday lives. It is a registered charity which links practical campaign action in East London to work on national policy. WEN partners with community groups to deliver campaigns, which include projects on plastics, food and pollution.
WEN, who coined the term ”environmenstrual” in 2004, has worked with nonprofit group City on Sea on a schools programme called Rethink periods. This programme offers free period education to primary and secondary schools, including information on the environmental and social contexts of menstruation.
WEN have used Isla’s funding to discuss, refine and implement a feminist leadership organisational model to enable greater participation in decision making. They have established a power and privilege working group that started by surveying the team, and are now working towards a diversity, inclusion and equity action plan with team workshops and learning. Co-directors have dedicated time to thinking strategically and in the past year have developed new exciting and ambitious programmes:
- Just FACT which supports community led climate action in Tower Hamlets to create a just food and climate transition. They do this by working with local residents, community groups, and organisations to create a blueprint for their local food system. Community Hubs will be created that will run workshops and discussions to support local people design a climate-friendly food system that tackles the issues which are specific to an urban borough. With the blueprint as their guide, they will be funding Community Labs that will be testing and scaling up solutions across the borough.
- Feminist Green New Deal: the Covid-19 outbreak has accelerated calls for a ‘new deal’ for the British economy. It has highlighted the neglect of public services, lack of resilience and deep-seated socio-economic inequalities, strengthening the case for a Green New Deal (GND). But GND frameworks don’t,in general, take into account inequalities of gender, race and class. This is why WEN and The Women’s Budget Group have published a policy paper and briefing outlining what a Feminist Green New Deal could look like in the UK with recommendations.