The African Union Commission (AUC), through the implementation of the GMES & Africa Programme, is convening the first “GMES & Africa Women workshop” from 15 to 18 March 2022 in Cotonou, Benin. The workshop will gather African women representatives working in EO-related fields, Consortia Leads and PMU.
Background and Rationale
This activity lies in the Aspiration 6 of Agenda 2063, which calls for “An Africa, whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth, and caring for children”. One of the GMES & Africa phase 1 findings is that women evolving in EO-related fields are under-represented. Many stakeholders highlighted this during the different workshops and forums held during the Programme’s phase 1, and it was recommended that GMES & Africa phase 2 takes action to address this challenge.
To this end, the AUC, through the implementation of GMES & Africa phase 2, set a requirement related to the inclusion of 30% of women specialised in EO-related fields as part of the Awarded Consortia’s teams. In addition, the AUC planned to create a group called “Women in GMES & Africa” to bring together women to share knowledge and best practices for their full involvement not only in GMES & Africa programme implementation but in general in earth observation initiatives and projects.
The objectives of the workshop are:
- To foster dialogue and networking between African women evolving in EO-related fields by gathering representatives of these women working in different areas of activity (public institutions, private sector, academia, etc.,);
- To allow women to express themselves and to highlight their needs in terms of EO science, Technology, Education and employment; and
- To create the group “Women in GMES & Africa” and to define a roadmap for its activities towards gender equality in education and career in the Earth observation field in Africa.
It is expected to yield the outcomes outlined below:
- African women evolving in EO-related fields are gathered and engaged in discussing and networking between them;
- Needs, challenges, knowledge and best practices related to the gender equality issues in Earth Observation are expressed and reported; and
- The group, “Women in GMES & Africa”, is created, and the roadmap of its activities are defined.
The workshop will last four days. It will include an opening session with key messages from the AUC, and it will be characterised by setting working group sessions based on the different areas of interest to showcase the challenges or advances or achievements in terms of reaching gender balance goals in the field of EO (at least at the level of GMES & Africa Program). Finally, the various sessions will generate recommendations on lessons learnt.
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