USHUAIA, Argentina – The 80 female scientists and technicians who set out last Dec. 31 to Antarctica returned this Saturday to the Argentine city of Ushuaia after a successful mission that illustrated the importance of women’s role in matters that will determine the future of the planet.
Once on land Saturday, the 80 women restated the idea of women’s growing leadership with a walk around the port, a demonstration that coincided with the third Women’s March in the United States.
The group, which includes leaders of 35 nationalities and boasts an array of professional backgrounds, largely in the sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine, embarked last Dec. 31 at Ushuaia, known as the “gateway to the Antarctic,” and after sailing back across the turbulent Drake Passage this Saturday, returned to Argentina once more.
The expedition was the third part of Australia’s Homeward Bound program, which is backed by the Spanish firm Acciona and focuses on promoting the role of women in taking decisions on such global issues as climate change and sustainable development.
“The achievements sought by Homeward Bound 3 are at three levels: to make the participants feel more able to lead; number two, that they see they are stronger united, in other words, each one on her own can do well but together we do significantly better; and third, that they become visible and have an impact on the world,” project founder Fabian Dattner told EFE.
According to the organizers, the diversity of the participants who, besides coming from many different nations around the globe, cover a wide range of professions, occupations and career levels, converge to form a profile for which they were picked for this program: their potential for having an impact on decisions that influence the future of the planet.
“We aim to become more visible in terms of leadership, influencing decisions that affect everyone, because research has shown that in situations where we women have a strong presence, we are more cooperative and more inclusive,” Dattner said, moments before getting off the ship Ushuaia.
The 80 scientists and technicians visited a dozen places on the southernmost continent in order to analyze, on one of the areas most vulnerable to climate change, the role of women in creating options for sustainable development.
The return to Argentina, after a rough ride across Drake Passage, was very emotional, and amid tears and hugs, the expeditionaries noted how important it is that more and more women have the chance to lead activities that will help save the planet.