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Lack of women casts a cloud over meteorology

The absence of women meteorologists is affecting forecasting services across the Pacific, a senior climate researcher from Papua New Guinea says. 

“There is a great need for more women in meteorology because there is a low of number of women represented in meteorology and hopefully [more can] become directors because for so many years it has been only male dominated,” said Kisolel Posanau.

Ms. Posanau is a climate research officer within the Papua New Guinea Weather Service and is in Samoa to attend a workshop on leadership for women in meteorology and hydrology for Pacific small island states.

The workshop focuses on strengthening leadership skills of participants, including their communication, negotiation, conflict management and consensus building skills. 

It is an opportunity to share their experiences as well as discussing barriers and ways of moving forward, Ms. Posanau said. 

The 34-year from P.N.G. said that the significance of the workshop is to provide a platform for women in meteorology to voice their opinions.

“The knowledge I will get from these workshops will be utilised back home in terms of teaching other colleagues about the new skills I have acquired," she said. 

“We recently recruited a couple of young female graduates from university and we aim to train them and try to encourage them to pursue further studies.

“I believe that a female can manage things well at any level because we can multitask and I think we should have more women leaders."

Mrs. Posanau said that despite P.N.G. having recruited female officers in meteorology division numbers remain low overall.

“In terms of issues concerning climate, P.N.G. is currently facing sea level rises in some of our islands and also droughts thus affecting our agriculture and way of life," she said. 

“Projects like the workshops I’m attending can help countries like us and Samoa to raise these issues and use funding already available so we can be resilient to climate change.

“We are the largest island in the Pacific and have many people, so hopefully [bringing] back more knowledge and partnerships with other Pacific islands to make our works easier.”

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