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International Women’s Day:

UN Women Chicago-Women in Leadership Forum

By Saundretta James

 Observance Day

International Women’s Day is March 8, 2022. This year’s theme is: “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow.”  It is important to recognize the value of women in every field because women are human beings. It is valuable and vital to consider the importance of the impact women make in areas of sustainability. The UN Women USA Chicago Chapter will host its annual Women in Leadership Forum with this year’s theme of “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow.” This vital event will spotlight women and inspire girls who are contributing to sustainability globally, through a panel discussion. The panelists are bold professionals who continue to pave the way for others who want to find their place in the world of climate change, environmental justice, conservation and in general, sustainability. More information can be found here: UN Women Chicago: Women in Leadership Forum. 

 This will be a global forum for learning and empowerment in the fight for a more sustainable world. The panelists include:

  • Wendy Abrams: Founder at Cool Globes; Co-founder at The Eleven Eleven Foundation
  • Shayna Harris: Co-founder & Managing Partner at Supply Change Capital; Sustainability Contributor at Forbes
  • Michelle Ruiz:  Co-founder & CEO at Hyfé Foods
  • Rohini Sengupta: Senior Manager of Environmental Sustainability & Climate at United Airlines
  • Moderated by Emmy Victor: National Weather Reporter at AccuWeather

 Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goal 5 (Gender Equality)  aims to “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” This event hosted by UN Women USA Chicago Chapter does this. How exciting to have a list of panelists who can remind women of the importance they have in this world. Additionally, UN Women challenges one to take this quiz to test general knowledge on women and climate change. After taking this quiz it is apparent that more can be done to advance every society, allowing women to lead using their natural skills in the realm of sustainability. Yet, it is necessary to recognize progress has been made.  The Women in Leadership Forum  hosted by UN Women USA Chicago reminds the world that improving sustainability has come far and still has more to do to include women and girls in all facets of global environmental advancement. 

There are several “Call to Action,” items below to help advance women in the area of sustainability, creating a world of gender equality for all! For those interested in joining the global fight for women in the realm of gender equality within Chicago, Illinois– joining UN Women Chicago is a first step: The benefits to the courses offered below: They’re free, a certificate is offered and can be placed on LinkedIn page. Also, the courses are virtual and self-paced. 



  1. United Nations Observance of International Women’s Day
  2. History or International Women’s Day
  3. Sustainable Development Goal #5
  4. United Nations Resources for International Women’s Day


  1. Join UN Women Chicago Chapter: and follow on Social Media! 
  2. Climate Priorities:
  3. Take Open Online Course on Gender and Environment:
  4. Take Open Online Course: Gender Equality and Human Rights in Climate Action and Renewable Energy:
  5.  Gender Equality and Energy (Self-paced)

Introduction to Gender and Disaster Risk  Management (women’s role in this is HUGE)

-Saundretta James

Director of Advocacy, UNA Chicago