10th International Conference on Geomorphology
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Women representation in UNESCO Global Geoparks of Portugal

Luiza Friedrich Garcia1 and Maria Helena Henriques2
Luiza Friedrich Garcia and Maria Helena Henriques
  • 1University of Coimbra, Geosciences Center, Department of Earth Sciences, Coimbra, Portugal (luizafriedrich89@gmail.com)
  • 2University of Coimbra, Department of Earth Sciences and Geosciences Center, Coimbra, Portugal (hhenriq@dct.uc.pt)

UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGGps) are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development. In this sense, it is expected that UGGps, directly or indirectly in their activities, meet the necessary conditions for the implementation of an effective sustainable development for its inhabitants, therefore contributing to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This work analyzes how Portuguese UGGps and Aspiring UGGps are committed with one of these SDGs: achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by ensuring women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunity for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life (SDG5). To this end, it was evaluated the gender composition in the management structure of five UGGps (Açores, Arouca, Estrela, Naturtejo and Terras de Cavaleiros,) and three Aspiring UGGps (Algarviensis, Oeste and Viana do Castelo) of Portugal. Data were collected from the geopark website, when available, and refers to gender composition of the governing bodies of each geopark. Unlike all the others, the Naturtejo UGGp website does not present any information on this issue. Results show that the gender composition of the managing team of the analyzed geoparks is quite diverse. While the Arouca UGGp shows a stronger representation of women (71%), Estrela UGGp (64%) and Viana do Castelo Aspiring UGGp (80%) are dominated by men. In the remaining geoparks, the gender composition is quite balanced, although leadership positions are mainly occupied by men; only the Arouca UGGp is coordinated by a woman. The lack of diversity in geosciences is a problem that affects everyone, and everyone has a responsibility to look around them, recognize the situation for what it is, and take the appropriate actions to make the necessary changes. Progress has been made, but women remain vastly outnumbered in geoscienctific issues when compared to men, particularly at higher levels of employment. The UNESCO Global Geoparks Secretariat has an ethical obligation to broaden their diversity and reduce the gender gap in decision making positions among the geoparks managing teams. And it should therefore advice applicants to provide opportunities of reducing the gender bias in decision making positions when new geoparks´ proposals are submitted and/or when existing geoparks are subject to revalidation, or to area or name modifications.

How to cite: Friedrich Garcia, L. and Henriques, M. H.: Women representation in UNESCO Global Geoparks of Portugal, 10th International Conference on Geomorphology, Coimbra, Portugal, 12–16 Sep 2022, ICG2022-178, https://doi.org/10.5194/icg2022-178, 2022.