THE HAGUE, Netherlands—15 November 2022—The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), in cooperation with the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), organised a symposium on Women in Chemistry, held at the UN campus in Turin, Italy, from 9 to 10 November.
The theme for this year’s symposium was “identifying opportunities for gender diversity in chemical safety and security”.
The two-day symposium highlighted the important contributions made by women to the peaceful uses of chemistry, and looked at some of the challenges they face. Participants were able to increase international solidarity and cooperation, and discuss the opportunities for professional development and knowledge exchange for women in chemistry. Experts from governmental authorities, laboratories and academia shared their experience in identifying opportunities for career growth, training, and certification, and highlighted the added value of gender diversity in chemistry.
The symposium was conducted in a hybrid modality throughout the first day, with participants from Eastern Europe attending in person and participants from other regions attending online. The regional element of the symposium focused on the specifics of engaging and empowering female professionals in the field of chemical safety and security in Eastern Europe.
During the symposium, a Compendium of Best Practices on the Engagement and Advancement of Women in Chemical Safety and Security was launched. The Compendium is the result of an EU funded research, jointly conducted by OPCW and UNICRI, aimed at identifying best practices in recruiting, training, and promoting women in chemistry.
The event was attended by 44 participants from governmental authorities, laboratories, and academia from 28 OPCW Member States: Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Ghana, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Zimbabwe.
Article XI of the CWC, Economic and Technological Development, provides international cooperation for the economic and technological development of States Parties.
The OPCW Women in Chemistry initiative was launched in 2016 and has since become a leading forum for the enhancing the role of women chemists in promoting peaceful uses of chemistry. The programme features prominent women role models and underlines both the challenges and opportunities experienced by women in chemistry.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Member States, oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
Over 99% of all declared chemical weapon stockpiles have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.