The capacity of any social-ecological system to absorb and respond to shocks, stresses or crisis and bounce forward, i.e. to maintain function and continue to develop, is dependent on its access to knowledge and experience of those performing different functions within the system. 

Gender and diversity play a key role in building resilience and adaptation pathways within any given social-ecological system through recognizing and celebrating gendered diversity in knowledge, institutions and everyday practice. Diversity in terms of knowledge, experience, roles and approaches contributes to enhancing resilience in social- and ecological systems. Inequalities, unequal power relations and discriminatory social norms prevent certain population groups from responding effectively to stressors, reducing overall flexibility and adaptive capacity. Enabling gender equality by empowering all genders to effectively participate and contribute is one of the most important advances towards the sustainable development and resilience of Arctic communities. Unequal structures, practices and norms must be identified, made visible and addressed through policy. This requires understanding of both existing capacities and specific vulnerabilities of women and men and calls for developing context specific, win-win solutions to foster capacities, agency and leadership. 


Session Opening Remarks

Joel Clement, HKS, Belfer Centre´s Arctic Initiative

Chair: Andrey Petrov, President of the International Arctic Social Sciences Association and Chair of the IASC Social & Human Working Group, Co-lead author Gender Equality in the Arctic Phase III Report, chapter on Empowerment

Opening Remarks: Karla Jessen Williamson, Assistant Professor, Educational Foundations, University of Saskatchewan, Lead author Gender Equality in the Arctic Phase III Report, chapter on Violence and Reconciliation 

Marya Rozanova-Smith Professorial Lecturer, The George Washington University, and Varvara Korkina Research Program Assistant, Indigenous Independent Scholar (TBC). 

Elizabeth (Sabet) Biscaye, Special Advisor to the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women at Government of the NorthWest Territories Canada.

Bridget Larocque, Co-Vice Chair, Arctic Athabascan Council, SDWG. 

Sören Stach Nielsen, Acting Greenland Projects Director for Oceans North, Independent Consultant, Greenland.

Halla Hrund Logadóttir, Adjunct Lecturer and Co-Founder and Director of the Arctic Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School.

Juno Berthelson, Gender Equality in the Arctic Phase III Youth Advisory Group, Nuuk, Greenland

Firouz Gaini, Professor, Faculty of History and Social Sciences, University of the Faro Islands

Embla Eir Oddsdóttir, Director Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network, Project Lead, Gender Equality in the Arctic Phase III

Tonje Margrete Winsnes Johansen, Saami Council Arctic and Environment Unit

Session Closing Remarks
Joel Clement, HKS, Belfer Centre´s Arctic Initiative


The future is a choice: The Oxfam Framework and Guidance for Resilience Development - 

Oxfam publication – Gender Justice in Resilience; Enabling the full performance of the system -

The Arctic Resilience Forum 2020 is hosted by the Icelandic Chairmanship of the Arctic Council and co-organized by the Council’s Sustainable Development Working Group and the Arctic Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center. The session on Gender and Resilience is co-organized with the Icelandic Arctic Cooperation Network and the International Arctic Social Science Association.