Project Description

Recent years have seen an upsurge in gender-related approaches to research in the Arctic and life-ways in northern communities. These efforts have contributed to questioning and complementing earlier characterisations of Arctic exploration as a heroic (and predominantly male) domain. Scrutinising widespread tenets about the “traditional” or “exotic” quality of gender roles in indigenous communities, these efforts have also brought forth more nuanced understandings of gender relations in different parts of the circumpolar North. The organisers invite representatives of gender-related initiatives to review and discuss: (i) What have been the main achievements thus far? (ii) What are the next steps to be taken? (iii) How can we develop communication channels and formats that foster scientific and public outreach? Ideas for enhancing outreach may comprise: a PhD/MA school on Gender in the Arctic; other educational programs; podcasts; vlogs etc. Everyone is invited to become a co-organiser of such media and educational activities.

The project includes an online Workshop held at ASSW 2020 (see final report below) and an in-person workshop at ASSW 2022


Final Report for the online workshop at ASSW 2020

The Gender in Polar Research: Gendered field work conditions, epistemologies and legacies workshop, funded by IASC and organized by the IASSA Working Group Gender in the Arctic, brought up stories and experiences that are often unspoken and dismissed in the polar research community as a whole. What emerged were both shortcomings of current practices and pathways to producing equitable and inclusive polar science. A joint statement and call for action has been formulated.

Over 85 participants from around the world joined this successful online event to discuss and reflect on the gendered nature of polar research. Themes centered around:

1) Conducting research in ways that depart from the ubiquitous image of heroic masculinity;

2) Disadvantages to career prospects and field research activities for women and LGBTIQ+;

3) How research is shaped by the composition of researcher genders and gendered spaces.

Highlights: Advancement of gender dimensions in polar research:
  • Broaden knowledge & understanding of non-binary gender among researchers and communities where research occurs. Introduce and bolster equity, inclusion, and bias training for all employees in polar research institutions.

  • Implement non-discrimination guidelines and provide access to independent complete procedures & contact persons. Support research on female and non-binary persons in polar regions. Support comprehensive collection of statistical data on discrimination.

  • Address intersecting categories of identity & overlapping barriers (gender intersecting with sexuality, race, ethnicity, social-economic status, disability, career stage, etc.). Recognize and nominate women and non-binary scientists for polar awards.

More information:


Date and Location

  • 30 March 2020 | online
  • 29 March 2022 | Where: Tromsø (Norway), ASSW2022


IASC Working Groups funding the project


Project Lead


Year funded by IASC





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