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Brazil’s Agora group leader urges women to lose their fear of politics

View of Antarctica's Danco Island on Jan. 12, 2019, from the vessel carrying 80 female professionals, all members of the Homeward Bound expedition to highlight the problem of climate change on the White Continent and provide visibility for female leadership on issues of global import. EFE-EPA/ Beth Strain

View of Antarctica’s Danco Island on Jan. 12, 2019, from the vessel carrying 80 female professionals, all members of the Homeward Bound expedition to highlight the problem of climate change on the White Continent and provide visibility for female leadership on issues of global import. EFE-EPA/ Beth Strain

EFE

The gap between knowledge and action on issues such as climate change can only be overcome with new leadership that provides visibility to women, Natalie Unterstell, with Brazil’s Agora movement and a member of the Homeward Bound expedition of 80 female professionals to Antarctica, told EFE.

“We need representation compatible with our challenges ... and for this the question of visibility is vitally important. How to deal with this problem of recognized underrepresentation” and for women “not to be afraid of participating in politics, because it’s really the most visible part of societies,” Unterstell said Saturday.

The former Brazilian negotiator for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change spoke with EFE on the 12th day of the expedition to Antarctica, an Australian program supported by Spain’s Acciona company which seeks to push female leadership and the visibility of women in global issues.

Unterstell, who noted that in legislatures around the world women hold an average of 10 percent of the seats, feels that it is urgent for women to construct a “strategy of visibility, not only in politics but in all fields” to deal with the world’s leadership crisis.

“We have many global problems like climate change and we have all the necessary information for action, but the action is not happening. There’s a gap between information and action and this can only be overcome with leadership and we don’t have real leadership today in the world,” said the expert in public policy and environmental issues.

Unterstell made her remarks on Antarctica’s Danco Island, in the southern part of the Errera Channel, on the western coast of Graham Land and one of the spots visited by the Homeward Bound expedition, which set sail on Dec. 31 from the far-southern Argentine port of Ushuaia.

The tour will last until Jan. 19 and one of its members is Costa Rican Christiana Figueres, a key leader in the fight against climate change and in favor of women’s empowerment.

Homeward Bound, with its backing by Spanish infrastructure and renewable energy firm Acciona, is a global initiative for women in the STEMM fields (i.e. science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) with an eye toward boosting female visibility as leaders on matters of global import.


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