Online Event: Women in Conservation

This World Population Day we are thrilled to welcome three trailblazers from partner organisations worldwide to our latest webinar. We will hear about each of their programmes and their insights related to healthcare, local environmental pressures, the climate crisis and much more.

EVENT date: 11 July 2024, 2 PM – 3.15 pm (BST)

Our Empower to Plan programme exists because women around the world want the power to choose how many children to have – and when. Evidence shows that where women are empowered, there’s a natural fall in birth rate. However, many women – in both high and low-income countries – lack the contraception, knowledge and freedom to take control of their fertility.

We are delighted to host three former Empower to Plan partner organisations to our next online event, Women in Conservation. They will each speak from personal experience working in their community and the interconnected challenges they face. This includes access to health, especially sexual and reproductive health and rights and family planning services, the increased pressure on local natural resources over time and the impacts of the climate crisis.

The webinar will provide a unique opportunity to discuss the critical issues each of our speakers faces in their region. Please join us!

You can register here.


Dr. Joan Castro

Executive Vice President, PATH Foundation Philippines, Inc. (Philippines)

Isabella Cortes

CEO, Women for Conservation (Colombia)

Wendo Aszed

Founder and Executive Director, Dandelion Africa (Kenya)

Women in Conservation

The webinar will be hosted by Empower to Plan Coordinator, Shweta Shirodkar, who will give a brief overview of how the programme works. There will also be an opportunity to pose questions to the panel. You can find out more about each of them below.

Please join us!

If you would like to attend this webinar, please register at the link below.

Dr. Joan Castro

Dr. Joan Castro has been active in the CSO community for three decades as she managed pioneering initiatives in public health and fisheries. As a public health specialist, she has over 20 years of experience working on a range of sustainable and community development initiatives in rural and urban settings. Joan has worked with international and national organizations, both public and private sectors, in health as well as in sexual and reproductive health and rights, advancing an integrated population, health and environment approach, which has been a subject of many of her publications.

Currently, Joan leads PATH Foundation Philippines, Inc., a non-government organization based whose mission is to alleviate poverty, improve health, and promote environmentally sustainable development. Since 1992, PFPI has pioneered innovative approaches and designed, implemented and evaluated cutting-edge projects in FP/RH, health and cross-sectoral initiatives by integrating population, health, and environment (PHE).

Isabella Cortes

I’m a passionate conservationist and artist, born in the mountains of Cauca, Colombia, with a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Management and Conservation Ecology from West Virginia University. Presently, I am the CEO of Women for Conservation, a non-profit that empowers women in rural communities around Key Biodiversity Areas to save biodiversity. Through my work, the organisation facilitated the establishment of wildlife conservation projects throughout Colombia and I currently live full-time in the El Dorado ProAves Reserve in the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta. I also deliver programmes that include sex education workshops, raising awareness of sexual violence and domestic abuse, and the different methods of contraception and their importance. I have a strong interest in wildlife biology, plant ecology, and particularly birds, and my greatest passion is working with rural communities, especially with women and girls, because they are the factor that can make a decisive difference for the future welfare of the planet.

Isabella is also a Population Matters Choice Ambassador and featured in our latest Spring Magazine.

Wendo Aszed

Wendo is the founder and executive director of Dandelion Africa, a grassroots organisation in Kenya focused on women’s health and economic empowerment. A former bank executive, she has dedicated herself to the welfare of women in rural areas. Founded in 2009, Dandelion Africa provides economic and skills training, health information to youth and is constructing a maternity clinic.

Wendo is a member of Population Matters’ Expert Advisory Board.

You can register for the event here.