Gender equality must come to meteorological and hydrological workplaces: Deputy PM

Gender equality must come to meteorological and hydrological workplaces if Samoa is to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals, the Deputy Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mataafa, has said. 

Fiame, who is also the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment (M.N.R.E.), addressed a workshop on leadership for women in meteorology and hydrology for Pacific Small Island Developing States at the Sheraton Hotel yesterday.

The workshop was convened by the regional association of the World Meteorology Organisation (W.M.O.).

Fiame said that this is the first time Samoa has hosted a workshop for women in leadership for the meteorology and hydrology profession.

“The significance and importance of the gender issue in leadership was highlighted at the conference on gender dimensions of weather and climate services held in Geneva in November 2014," Fiame said. 

"[It] stated the need for increased investment in women through capacity building and increased involvement of women in decision making."

“This message was similarly conveyed in the following year during the 17th World Meteorological Congress when it tabled and adopted resolution 59 on gender equality and empowerment of women of the need to expand and increase women’s participation in leadership in science and policy making,” she stated.

The Deputy Prime Minister highlighted the need for W.M.O. members to provide encouragement and support for increasing the number of women working as professionals and staff in national meteorological and hydrological services, particularly at decision-making levels.

“It is also to increase the representation of women delegations in W.M.O. constituent body meetings and to nominate more women candidates to those constituent bodies and that their working structures as well as to train in events such as this. 

“In addition, from the WMO updated policy on gender equality where it calls for equal training opportunities for women and men at local regional and international levels in a manner that aims to achieve equilibrium in gender representation,” she added.

The Minister for M.N.R.E. also encouraged participants learn as much from the workshop and be able to apply the knowledge for effective service delivery in their workplace.

The W.M.O. Director for Development and Regional Activities, Mary Power, said that their organisation is resolved in its efforts to achieve gender equality, empower women and build climate resilient societies. 

“To this end, it is committed to mainstreaming gender in its governance, working structures, programmes and service delivery," she said. 

"It is also determined to attract more women in the fields of science and meteorology.

“The objective is to fully realise the professional and human potential of both women and men through equal employment opportunities and to provide improved environmental services that are responsive and sensitive to women’s and men’s needs and will make a difference to their lives.

“At international, national and local levels, there is a drive to improve access for women to technology, information, science education and technical training and to strengthen the position of women scientists and technologists. 

"Ensuring that women have equal access to science education and technology is an essential catalyst to ensure that the developers and users of weather, water and climate services provided by the W.M.O. and its members serve the global community."

She added that the workshop aims to strengthen the leadership skills of participants, with a focus on communication, negotiation, conflict management and consensus building. 

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