Women Of Waste (WOW!)
Women make a strong contribution to the solid waste management sector and circular economy, both from the home front and at work as engineers, collectors, recyclers. There are women pioneers, activists, researchers, policymakers, as well as high-level managers and ministers of government – women are out there, but just not very visible.
Furthermore, women still face very real challenges. The range of barriers to women’s full participation is broad: from a lack of well-fitting safety equipment, to persistent bias in legislation, culture and gender roles, to harassment and even physical assault at dumpsites.
Women of Waste wants to change that.
Women of Waste was created by women to advocate for and spotlight women’s work and achievements. WOW! explores the link between gender and sustainable waste management and resource recovery systems to improve waste management overall, by empowering women in the sector.
Led by a technically and geographically diverse group of women experts, WOW! activities are based on scientific evidence and best practice solutions.
Our Mission and Objectives
The WoW Task Force promotes the role and visibility of women at all levels of the solid waste sector globally by:
- Building a global network for women
- Conducting and disseminating research on women in the sector
- Strengthening the capacity of women waste workers and professionals through practical tools and training
- Advocating for safe workplaces and equal advancement opportunities for women
- Promoting rewarding careers in sustainable waste management to attract and retain more women to the sector
WOW! was conceived at the ISWA World Congress in Novi Sad in 2016 by Gali Feldboy-Klinger (Israel), Maria Tsakona (Greece/Norway) and Georgina Nitzsche (UK/Austria) and later joined by Frida Jones (Sweden), Gabriela Garcés (Peru/Germany) and Delila Khaled (USA/Egypt).
TASK FORCE LEADER
Her vision is “closing the loop”. She sees herself as part of the solution for green sustainable development, applying the principles of circular economy. Therefore, she approaches each project as an opportunity to strengthen the economy, society, and the natural world. To achieve this, she participates in multidisciplinary teams and bring innovative ideas and sustainable solutions into her projects.
Being part of the ISWA family for more than a decade, Maria introduced the urgent need to integrate the gender perspective in waste and resource management to ISWA in 2016.
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Members & Partners
WOW! Coordination Team
TASK FORCE LEADER
She is a long-time associate of Women without Borders, supporting in action research projects for female empowerment projects in democracy and security building from Afghanistan to Zanzibar.
Georgina holds an MSc in Sustainable Development and Climate Change and trained at the London School of Journalism. She was ISWA International Partnerships and Events Manager from 2016 – 2020 and represents ISWA Austria on the ISWA Working Group for Communications and Social Issues.
WOW! Expert and Advisor
An entrepreneur at heart, Delila has led non-profit and for-profit startups – including the Development Innovations Group and the Center for Global Policy – and advises women entrepreneurs in the US and globally on business strategy. Most recently, she joined forces with Global Bio Fund (GBF) – a venture capital fund investing in women-owned life science companies. As Impact Partner, she drives GBF’s gender lens investment strategy and oversees investments in the circular economy and environmental sectors.
Dr. rer. nat. Gabriela Garcés S.
WOW! Expert and Advisor
She has worked in Germany, India, and Latin America (e.g. Costa Rica, Peru, Brazil) with int. organizations (GIZ, IUCN), local governments, NGOs, academia and the private sector. She has advised on participatory planning processes, and formulated projects and environmental strategies in interdisciplinary teams in the context of ecosystem protection, env. policies and climate adaptation. As expert and consultant, she is committed to knowledge transfer, capacity building and building networks for projects. She has advised women in waste and the environmental sector. At the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability, she currently develops projects on the interface of water and sustainable waste/residue management.
Gabriela earned a doctoral degree in natural sciences at the Technical University of Munich, studied Sustainable Resource Management and Biological Sciences, TUM (Peru/Germany) with majors in wastewater, waste management and environmental sanitation.
WOW! Advisory Network
Dr. Ruta Aidis
Dr. Sonia Dias
Prof. Linda Godfrey
CSIR principal researcher
Meri Beth Wojtaszek