IAEA Board of Governors Meeting
Statement by Ms Alison Drury, Alternate Resident Representative to the IAEA
Agenda Item 7 (Any Other Business): Statement on behalf of the Group of Friends for Women in Nuclear
24 November 2017
Thank you Chair,
Australia as Co-Chair is pleased to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of Friends for Women in Nuclear. Our Group – established in June this year – most recently welcomed Canada and Paraguay as new members, bringing our membership to a total of 20 States.
We are now comprised of: Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, India, Ireland, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, the Slovak Republic, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Our group continues to look for practical initiatives to take forward – in consultation with the Agency – to increase the representation of women in the IAEA’s Secretariat. So the Group very much welcomes the Agency’s ongoing commitment to promote gender equality.
And in this respect, we again note that the successful promotion of gender equality is now widely recognised to have a positive effect on the efficiency and effectiveness of an organisation.
At the Group of Friends’ most recent meeting – hosted by Co-Chair Mexico on 8 November – members considerations included: opportunities to leverage social media and other on-line platforms to promote the gender equality goals of the Group, including by profiling successful women in nuclear, and highlighting the rewarding career opportunities available in the IAEA; and opportunities – such as through this statement – to encourage all Member States to consider ways to promote gender equality objectives in their own advocacy and outreach activities.
The Group also looked at options to work with the Women in Nuclear Global Group and Vienna chapter of the International Gender Champions Initiative, to find ways to reinforce our common objectives of gender equality. We also discussed how we might reinforce – in practical and helpful ways – the important role of the Agency’s Gender Focal Point network.
We will be developing and implementing these ideas more fully over the next few weeks and months.
Given the focus on Technical Cooperation at this session of the Board of Governors, the Group of Friends for Women in Nuclear would like to underline the importance we attach to the Agency’s active encouragement of female participation in every aspect of the TC program. The Agency’s Guiding Principles for Project Planning and Design require all TC projects to take into account gender-related impacts and benefits, with a view to ensuring equal opportunity for both men and women in the design, planning and implementation of projects.
We note that – in 2016 – 4,370 women from all regions participated in the TC program as counterparts, fellows, scientific visitors, meeting and training course participants, and international experts and lecturers. And that – again in 2016 – the TC programme supported the participation of 17 women in the Women in Nuclear Global Annual Conference.
We also welcome that – with nine women on the Director General’s Standing Advisory Group on Technical Assistance and Cooperation out of a total of 21 members – the Advisory Group adheres to gender parity in terms of its representation.
The Group of Friends for Women in Nuclear urges the Agency and Member States to continue to apply gender mainstreaming principles in the development of TC programs, and also to ensure that programs to support and address issues disproportionately faced by women are not overlooked.
Sustaining such an approach will be important to the Agency’s efforts to support the Sustainable Development Goals, including under SDG 5 to achieve gender equality, and to empower all women and girls.
We encourage the Secretariat to continue reporting on women’s participation in the TC program and to include reporting on its gender mainstreaming efforts.
Finally, we take this opportunity to remind delegations who share our gender equality goals of the opportunity to join the Group of Friends for Women in Nuclear. If you would like to join, please making yourself known to one of the Group’s Co-Chairs – either Australia or Mexico.