The expedition of scientific leaders sets sail for 2019 in Antarctica

The expedition of scientific leaders sets sail for 2019 in Antarctica

An expedition of eighty women leaders in different disciplines sailed today to Antarctica to welcome the 2019 with a message to the world about the urgency of strengthening female participation in the decisions that define the future of the planet.

The group, which includes women of 35 nationalities, mostly trained in science, technology, engineering, mathematics or medicine, embarked in the Argentine city of Ushuaia (south), known as the "gateway to Antarctica" , to receive the new year sailing to the dreaded Drake Passage.

"Women have been delayed to be a role model and we have been behind the scenes for a long time, it is time to make visible what we are capable of doing", Yalimay Jiménez, an expert in geochemical mapping for mining exploration and environmental purposes, told Efe during the hustle and bustle of boarding.

The tour is part of the third edition of the Australian program Homeward Bound, supported by the Spanish firm Acciona and which focuses on promoting the role of women in decision-making on global issues such as climate change and sustainable development actions.

"We have the great opportunity with this expedition to support other Latin American women but also from other parts of the world, who have a lot of experience and knowledge and want to contribute to improve the world", said the Costa Rican Christiana Figueres, leader in the global fight against climate change and special guest on the trip.

According to the organizers, the diversity of the participants, who in addition to coming from different parts of the world, cover a wide range of professions, occupations and career levels, converges in the profile by which they were chosen for this program: their potential to have an impact on decision making about the future of the planet.

The Australian Fabian Dattner, founder of the initiative, told Efe that Homeward Bound is governed by three principles: that after the program each of them is better able to be a leader; to be aware that women are stronger together, and that we must act for the common good.

For Dattner, Supporting women, improving their confidence, shared vision and strategic capacity, opens up opportunities for them to assume leadership roles worldwide and contribute to a sustainable world, in the midst of gender inequalities that, according to the UN, exist in all countries and social groups.

"I think it's practically ridiculous" that we have no more women's leadership in 2019. It's as if the human race is trying to run a marathon but only running with one leg, it's possible, but it's much more effective if we run with both, "said Figueres, former UN Secretary of Climate Change, which occupied when the Paris Agreement was reached.

With that challenge as a map, the eighty expeditionary took their bags today to travel a dozen points in Antarctica in order to analyze in one of the most vulnerable territories to climate change the role of women to create sustainable development options.

"My work for more than ten years has been to study the Arctic and I always had the dream of visiting Antarctica and the great attraction of fulfilling that dream was added to the great emotion of being part of this great network of women with the desire to have impact in the world, "said the Costa Rican Melania Guerra, a graduate in mechanical engineering, doctor Oceanography and who worked at NASA.

The Homeward Bound expedition departed this December 31 from Ushuaia, considered the southernmost city on the planet, and among the planned stops are the Argentine base Carlini, the island Paulet, which houses a breeding colony of thousands of Adélie penguins, and the American base Palmer.

The first test for the travelers will be the passage of Drake, whose waters are famous for being the most stormy on the planet.


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