Building on the Gender Equality in the Arctic III (GEA III) Pan-Arctic Report, GEA IV will consist of two main components:

  1. Advance gender equality in the Arctic by mainstreaming gender-based analysis in the work of the Arctic Council
  2. Share wisdom and knowledge, an Indigenous-led component focusing on thematic online events and interviews to disseminate topics of particular interest to GEA Indigenous partners

GEA is an international collaborative project within the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) that has been ongoing since 2013 and focuses on gender equality in the Arctic. The purpose and objective of the project is to promote and expand gender equality in the Arctic region. GEA highlights the importance of recognizing and appreciating diversity in many areas, including governance, education, economics, social realities, sustainability, and leadership. This project seeks to identify priorities and strategies to increase diversity and gender balance in policy- and decision-making processes, and to provide information to facilitate sustainable policy-making for the future.

GEA is informed by earlier gender work undertaken by the SDWG since 2002, including the following conferences and reports: (Taking Wing Conference (2002); Women’s Participation in Decision-making Processes in Arctic Fisheries Resource Management (2004); Arctic Human Development Report 1 (2004); Women and Natural Resource Management in the Rural North (2006).

Phase IV of GEA also builds on its previous phases, in particular, the outcome and recommendations from the conference,Gender Equality in the Arctic- Current Realities and Future Challenges, held in Akureyri in October 2014; the phase II follow-up project from 2017-2019; and the recently concluded GEA III and its Pan-Arctic Report on Gender in the Arctic, published in May 2021.

The GEA III Report provided the three following recommendations for the Arctic Council:

  1. “The Arctic Council should systematically engage with and mainstream gender-based analysis across its work and encourage Arctic States to set an example at national and regional levels. The Council could create a small group, composed of experts and representatives from Working Groups and subsidiary bodies to develop a set of guidelines for the systematic inclusion of gender and application of an intersectional approach across the Council's work.”
  2. “The Arctic Council should encourage and facilitate the development of guidelines for consistent and comparable data and definitions throughout the Arctic. This would entail, at a minimum, gendered and ethnically disaggregated data. The Sustainable Development Working Group could within the next iteration of its project work on gender seek collaboration with national agencies across its Member States, Permanent Participant organisations, other Arctic Council Working Groups, and relevant Arctic Council Observers.”
  3. “Phase IV of the Gender Equality in the Arctic project, in cooperation with relevant Expert Groups, to analyse, refine, prioritise, and operationalise policy relevant highlights, including opportunities for action and research.”

The report was welcomed at the Ministerial meeting and included in the Reykjavík Declaration 2021 where the Council committed to “emphasize the importance of gender equality and respect for diversity for sustainable development in the Arctic and welcome the Pan-Arctic Report, Gender Equality in the Arctic, Phase 3; encourage the mainstreaming of gender-based analysis in the work of the Arctic Council; and call for further action to advance gender equality in the Arctic.” Further, the Arctic Council Strategic Plan 2021–2030 includes a goal to “promote gender equality and non-discrimination in the Arctic with the aim of contributing to sustainability and balanced participation in leadership and decision making both in the public and private sectors.”

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Iceland, Canada, United States, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Aleut International Association, Saami Council, Arctic Athabaskan Council, IASSA
Russian Federation

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