A new U.N. multi-agency Women’s Leadership Programme is being launched at the World Meteorological Congress to build on the success of the WMO Conference on the Gender Dimensions of Weather and Climate Services in November 2014.
The Women’s Leadership Programme recognises the commitment of the UN System towards gender equality and the empowerment of women through activities to strengthen the role of women in diplomacy.
A high-level panel discussion at Congress on 26 May presented the programme by the UN Institute for Training and Research, with the support of UN Women, the UN Development Programme, U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), WMO and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat.
“Stronger engagement of women is necessary to build a stronger, safer and more resilient future for all,” said UNISDR head Margareta Wahlstrom. “Without the engagement of women, such a future is not possible,” she said in a video message to the panel debate.
“Women are proven agents of change. With the right tools and opportunities, they can be the most powerful drivers of sustainable development,” said Amina Mohammed, Special Adviser to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning.
“Women continue to face barriers in the form of structural constraints, and lack of access to knowledge and information. This is why the Women’s Interagency Women’s Leadership Programme is so important,” said Lakshmi Puri of U.N. Women.
To kick off the programme, the first Women’s Leadership Workshop will take place on 6 June at Congress. The workshop will aim to strengthen the skills of female delegates and diplomats attending Congress. There will also be a special focus on gender at Congress on 5 June.
WMO Assistant Secretary-General Elena Manaenkova underlined the need to invest in training and attract and promote women into leadership positions in meteorology, hydrology and climate science.
“To be a director of a weather service, this is a tough job. The road is not long but it is hard. I welcome the fact that WMO is the first to benefit from this programme which will will be the first step in our increased efforts to build capacity and skills of women to be more competitive for leadership positions and realise their potential” she said.