On International Women’s Day, the World Meteorological Organization celebrates the outstanding work performed by female meteorologists, hydrologists, climatologists and scientists around the world.
As part of its activities on 8 March, WMO has compiled an extensive Women in Action album with dozens of photos illustrating the remarkable work done by women at National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, often performed in remote areas and in challenging conditions.
The theme for this year is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”.
Women are significantly underrepresented In meteorology and related professions, especially at top levels. WMO is therefore working to eliminate any barriers, to attract more girls into studying science, to retain more women in careers and increase their numbers in WMO governance and management.
“Investments made in women and girls are great multipliers of development progress,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. “My home country, Finland, has long made this smart investment in harnessing the full potential of women and men to the benefit of society,” he said.
“WMO is no different in this respect. In a world of diminishing resources, we must use human capital wisely and strategically. We must take full advantage of the capacity of both women and men to advance our objectives,“ said Mr Taalas.
Mr Taalas recently joined the ranks of the Geneva Gender Champions, with a commitment to promoting a gender-sensitive culture in WMO and striving for gender parity.
In addition, WMO continues to promote weather and climate services, such as field schools for farmers and guidance on gender-sensitive flood management, which reflect the unique needs and strengths of women, as well as men.
“Women are more disaster prone and yet risk averse than men so we need gender-sensitive services,” says WMO Assistant Secretary-General Elena Manaenkova.
“Women continue to be disadvantaged as they have less access to services such as mobile phone weather alerts and disaster warnings, as well as agricultural equipment and advice, just to name but a few examples,” she said.
“The strength of women as champions to help communities adapt to climate change and be more resilient to disasters is also undervalued,” said Ms Manaenkova. “This needs to change.”
In recognition of the leadership of Ms Manaenkova on gender equality, the Geneva Environment Network selected Ms Manaenkova as one of 20 “inspirational” women working for the environment.
The WMO photo album is available here.
Videos of prominent female leaders from the WMO community are available here.
WMO’s gender website is available here
Speech by Ms Manaenkova to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on 29 February is here
Infographics cartoon on gender equality at WMO is here