WATCH: Discussion on women in environmental science

On 16 March 2022, as a side event to the sixty-sixth session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, Latvia together with Argentina, Germany, Korea and South Africa hosted a virtual panel discussion on how to foster the participation and leadership of women in environmental science.

This year’s priority theme at the UN Commission on the Status of Women is the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment in the context of climate change and environmental and disaster risk reduction. 

During the discussion, the panelists noted the need for support in work-life balance and they pointed out that special importance must be attached to providing access to child care services, which enables women to successfully combine their careers in science with family life. Women’s mutual support and cooperation were also essential.

Although the number of women in higher education is increasing, they are underrepresented in senior positions in the research and science sector; therefore, it is essential to reinforce women’s representation in science. Elimination of gender-based violence and sexual harassment was also underlined.

The Ambassador of Latvia to the United Nations in New York, Andrejs Pildegovičs, recalled Latvia’s commitment to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, and he highlighted Latvia’s current achievements in the field of gender equality. 

The panelists taking part in the discussion were Prof. Carolina Vera from the University of Buenos Aires and the National Scientific and Technical Research Council of Argentina (CONICET); a representative of Germany, Dr. Frauke Muecksch, from the Rockefeller University; a representative of Latvia, Dr. Brigita Daļecka, researcher at Riga Technical University, Water Research and Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory; a representative of the Republic of Korea, Prof. Moon Jeong Choi from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology; and  Dr. Debra Roberts from Sustainable and Resilient City Initiatives Unit, eThekwini Municipality, Durban South Africa and Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The full video of the discussion can be viewed above.

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