On September 2018, the University of Helsinki hosted an event entitled Women of the Arctic: Bridging Policy, Research and Lived Experience, a side-event of the UArctic Congress 2018. The event sought to bring conversations about women’s and gender issues outside of research circles and to carve out a non-academic space for women and girls who work on or live in the Arctic. More specifically, its aim was to explore the roles and contributions of women to northern policy-making, research, exploration, art, activism, and daily life in a form of dialogue between invited guests and with active involvement of the audience.

The women behind the idea of Women of the Arctic are Tahnee Prior, a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar and PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo and Malgorzata (Gosia) Smieszek, a researcher at the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland. Their realization was that among the many arctic venues, initiatives specifically focusing on women, are few. Moreover, the equal representation of women on arctic conference panels is still far from standard with women´s perspective often missing from debates. Out of these concerns Women of the Arctic sought to illuminate the stories and perspectives of women from Arctic and non-Arctic countries with the objective to create awareness of issues related to northern women. 

This spring, Women of the Arctic have launched an interview series of women who live in, work on and engage with the Arctic. Plan A. serves as a digital storytelling platform that seeks to highlight and promote the inclusion of broader gender perspectives in all aspects of northern life and policy. The 100+ videos are available at www.genderisnotplanb.com.

For more information about “Women of the Arctic” please visit www.genderisnotplanb.com and follow along on Twitter and Instagram at @PlanArctic

Women of the Arctic (WoA) is a non-profit association registered in Finland.