Attend the United Nations/Canada Space for Women Expert Meeting

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Source: UNOOSA Space4Women
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), in collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency, is organising the United Nations/Canada Space for Women Expert Meeting themed “Building capacity to promote and advance gender equality in the space sector” between 30 October – 3 November 2023, at Montreal, Canada.
Background
The meeting is part of the “Space for Women” Project (Space4Women) that encourages women and girls to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and raises awareness about career opportunities and the importance of gender equality and empowerment in the space sector. 
The focus of the meeting will highlight efforts to ensure that the benefits of space include women and girls and foster their equal and active role in space science, technology, innovation and exploration. In addition, during the meeting, the participants will have the opportunity to engage in presentations, discussions and networking to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the space field per Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 4 (Quality Education) and 5 (Gender Equality). 
Objectives 

The objectives of the Space4Women Expert Meetings include:

  • Raising awareness about the role of women in the advancement of space science, technologies, applications and space exploration; 
  •  identifying challenges, opportunities and effective interventions to promote; 
  • advancing women and girls in the space sector; and
  •  Creating an environment that fosters equitable, diverse, and inclusive participation.  

Furthermore, by leveraging on the outcomes of the previous meetings, the 2023 Expert Meeting will focus on building the capacity of participants to promote and advance gender equality and empower women and girls in the space sector in efforts to inspire and help participants to drive gender equality efforts forward in their country. 

More specifically, the meeting aims to: 

  • Support the development of skills to integrate gender mainstreaming into national space strategies and policies, including in STEM and the development of research, technology and applications; 
  • Understand women’s perspectives and needs in the context of space research, space science, and space technology and their applications; 
  • Discuss further action to achieve the targets set out in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, including removing barriers and bias to gender equality and the objective of a gender-balanced workforce by 2030; and
  • Empower participants to encourage gender equality efforts for change at the institutional/organisational level and take individual action to support women and girls in the space sector and STEM;
  • Bring together experts to contribute to the event through presentations, sharing of expertise and experience, and preparation of a gender mainstreaming toolkit for the space sector. 
 Outcomes: 
1. Participants have increased knowledge on: 
  • Gender mainstreaming in the space sector; 
  • How space research, science, and technology can advance gender equality; 
  • The intersection between gender and other identity factors (i.e. race, ethnicity, age). 
2. Participants have exchanged expertise and learned from experience/examples of work of other participants (e.g. to replicate existing actions, projects or policies).  
3. Participants act at national, regional, local, collective or individual levels to advance gender equality in the space sector.    
4. Participants have created a new network of experts. 
Outputs:  
  • Outcome Report (to be presented at 67th COPUOS (June 2024); and 
  • Draft Gender Mainstreaming Toolkit: Once finalised, the toolkit will be shared with public and private institutions to support them in mainstreaming gender in their contexts. The Toolkit will be made publicly available. 
Participants: 

Experts and decision-makers from the space community, including: 

  • Governmental entities (ministries, space agencies, etc.); 
  • Academia and research centres; 
  • Private sector; 
  • Civil society; and
  • Regional and international organisations. 
Programme Details

Plenary sessions  

  • How can space technology and innovation advance gender equality? Showcasing successful examples of women’s empowerment through space technology and applications; 
  • Gender mainstreaming in space policy, strategy, technology and exploration: good practices and lessons learned; 
  • Measuring women in the space workforce: existing efforts and progress; 
  • Inspire through story-telling: women professionals in the space sector, including STEM fields; and
  • Working together: recognising and challenging gender bias, exploring allyships, and uplifting women and girls in the space sector and STEM.  
Financial Support

Financial support is available to a limited number of Expert Meeting participants. In addition, this financial support will cover the cost of travel (a round trip air ticket – economic fare – between the airport of international departure in their home country and Montréal, Canada) or the room and board expenses for the duration of the Expert Meeting. 

Additional Information

Interested applicants should note that to visit Canada, foreigners, depending on their nationality, may need to obtain a visitor visa or an Electronic travel authorisation (eTA). 

Furthermore, priority will be given to qualified applicants capable of funding their around-trip travel or living expenses. Thus, applicants are encouraged to seek alternative funding to secure their participation.However, applicants wishing to receive financial support to attend the meeting can place a  request through the online application and in the signature form.

Selection Criteria 

The selected participants must demonstrate motivation and experience in gender equality or gender mainstreaming in the space sector or STEM. In addition, presentation and poster abstracts will be evaluated based on the relevance of the topic, alignment to 2023 Expert Meeting objectives, concrete application on the proposed subject, and sound structure. 

Furthermore, to encourage equitable access to opportunity, the selection process will consider additional criteria, including regional representativeness and gender balance. In addition, participants may also be given further consideration if they self-identify as belonging to one or more vulnerable groups (e.g. indigenous people, LGBTQI+, persons with disabilities, and others). 

 How to Apply 

Interested applicants must submit their application by 23 April 2023, 23:59 EST.  

Furthermore, applicants interested in the expert meeting must complete the following three steps before the deadline.  

  1. Fill in the online application form
  2. Send a signed signature form.
  3. Submit CV 

However, the signed signature form and CV must be completed in English and submitted by 23 April 2023, 23:59 EST,  to space4women@un.org.  

NB: Only completed applications with all the requested information and documents will be considered.

For more information about the application process, click here.

For information, please contact UNOOSA at space4women@un.org.  

UNOOSA and CSA will organise an online information session to provide further details and reply to questions about the event on 4 April at 15:00 CEST. Interested individuals can access the event through the link: shorturl.at/deMP6.

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