It's Up to Us


WLP’s newest documentary, It’s Up to Us, features perspectives from leaders about the interconnected threats to human security, including conflict, climate change, economic inequality, discriminatory family laws, and gender inequality. 

Below are some of the memorable quotes from the film that inspire and remind us that the world we seek is up to us to build. 

IT'S UP TO US Trailer

Climate Justice

“My understanding of climate began with a human rights and a gender lens. I saw how severe it was undermining food security, and the burden on women to put food on the table.”- Mary Robinson | Former President of Ireland, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Climate justice is the understanding that those who have contributed the least to climate change are facing the brunt of climate impacts – not tomorrow or in a few years, but they're facing them today.”- Bridget Burns | Executive Director of Women’s Environment and Development Organization

The Middle East is going to be highly affected by climate change. Lebanon for example used to be one of the richest countries in water, now it suffers from water scarcity.”- Najat Saliba | Professor of Analytical Chemistry, American University of Beirut

Equality in The Family

“We are dealing with people who are socialized to think like that, you see this tradition being carried forward – by men especially – but even women who have been socialized to believe they are less than men.”- Joy Ngwakwe | Executive Director Center for Advancement of Development Right

“Without citizenship rights, children have obstacles with accessing education, health care, formal employment, even owning property in their country of their birth. Simply because the Nationality Law of their country does not treat their mother as an equal citizen.”- Catherine Harrington | Campaign Manager Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights

That's when she realized that her beloved uncle’s concept of family was only the men. None of the women were there. So, what do you do with that? She did not know how profoundly she wasn't family, until she saw that family tree.”- Abena Busia | Ghanaian Ambassador to Brazil

Human Security

“There’s no such thing as personal security divorced from or different from global security. That is the reality of our security now.”- Soon Young Yoon | UN representative for the International Alliance of Women

“What we see more and more is the fundamentalist, religious groups occupying the formal political spaces. And this is something that is very dangerous and has an impact on women’s human rights and reproductive rights.”- Andrea Romani | Program Officer, Cidadania, Estudo, Pesquisa, Informação e Ação

“In the business world, and in most governments, the short-term gain is more important than the long-term gain...and that’s a very dangerous concept.”- Gay MacDougall | Professor of International Law, Fordham University

Women's Leadership

“As women we have organized, we have mobilized, we have brought consciousness. But none of our goals, none of our aspirations are fully capable of being implemented unless we can change the system.”- Mahnaz Afkahmi | Founder and President, Women’s Learning Partnership

“Gender equality is not only important because it is a human right for women, but it is also essential when it comes to peace and protecting human security for everyone.”- Asma Khader | Founder and CEO of Solidarity is Global Institute - Jordan

“The value of intergenerational communication is that we can learn from what previous generations did, that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.”- Louise Tan | Former GBV Program Officer, All Women’s Action Society Malaysia

“Even if the reforms cost money, we also get people out into the labor force, and with a possibility of both having a career and a family. Sweden’s productivity rate is higher than in many countries and the percentage of women participating in the labor force is also higher. If you look at the  numbers, it is a win-win-win.”- Ann Bernes | Ambassador for Gender Equality, Sweden

Our Path Forward

“To create holistic change, we also have to work together. So, even if we are all working on issues separately, we have to come to a common understanding of the bigger picture.”- Allison Horowski | Chief Operating Office, Women’s Learning Partnership

“We need to understand that this moment we're living in is the last gasp of patriarchy and racism. As difficult as it is to think that we are winning at this moment, I think we are.”- Barbara Phillips | Human Rights Activist

“You see the difficulties women face. And there’s a commonality in that suffering, and there’s a commonality in the challenges. And we can choose to stay silent, or we can choose to do something about it. Because if we don’t, who will?”- Maliha Zia Lari | Associate Director, Legal Aid Society

“The Feminist Movement is the longest, broadest movement for equality and justice that the world has ever seen.”- Lopa Benerjee | Chief of the Civil Society Section UN Women

“It’s not enough to tell the story. What must follow is how we are able to use this knowledge to really bring change for women and not to go backwards again.”- Musimbi Kanyoro | Board Chair, Women’s Learning Partnership & Former CEO, Global Fund for Women

See More