IWD 2021 – Wangari Mathai, Kenya

IWD 2021 - Wangari Mathai, Kenya

Although IWD is celebrated on March 8th, there are so many women whose work has improved numerous lives throughout the world, some of who are our very own, within the IAM. Throughout the month of March we will feature women from different parts of the world and historical eras to remind us that the women’s movement indeed has deep and long roots. Follow us as we learn together about women who have left a mark on history and society.

Kenyan politician and environmental activist, Wangari Maathai became the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree, and the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.  She became a prominent environmental activist in Kenya working to end the devastation of Kenya’s forests and founding the Green Belt Movement.  Her environmental activism quickly became a political one and her vocal opposition to the Kenyan government would be heard throughout the world.

Matthai’s outspokenness, academic and professional success was often considered subversive in her own country for stepping outside of traditional gender roles. Despite this, Wangari Maathai would go on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her “holistic approach to sustainable development that embraces democracy, human rights, and women’s rights in particular.”  (Source: Instagram- Feminist)