Drawing from ecofeminist perspectives, this paper assesses the saliency of women not as victims of environmental degradation, but rather as potent agents of change. Situated within the context of increasing environmental damage and looming irreversible climate change, this study examines whether, and to what degree, women’s political empowerment impacts environmental sustainability. With particular emphasis on women’s status, ordinary least squares regressions models were used to investigate predictors of ecological footprint, environmental well-being and environmental performance cross-nationally. The results demonstrate that while affluence, measured in GDP per capita, is a strong predictor in every case, women’s political empowerment leads to better environmental outcomes only in environmental policy performance. This suggests that women’s political empowerment may be yet another modernisation factor which affects national environmental policies and outcomes, but cannot reduce the overall environmental impact beyond national borders. This study concludes by stating that despite of promising results, women’s status may still suffer from globalisation and other mediating world-system processes.