Wangari Maathai

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

At the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa, we have often explored the close links between our various areas of specialty, including feminism, environmental law, and social justice. Very few have embodied the connections between these three areas as fully and effectively as Wangari Maathai, who sadly passed away on September 26th, 2011. The first African woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, in 2004, Wangari Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, which sought to achieve environmental sustainability but also to empower women and achieve democracy and social justice, in part through the planting of 30 million trees. The Nobel committee recognized her “"for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace".

Her death leaves a great void, but hopefully her inspiration will guide others, including our feminist, social justice and environmental law students, to fill it by continuing this kind of work.

Heather McLeod-Kilmurray is a Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa
Designed by Rachel Gold.