One of the most proactive and accessible Arctic gender initiatives that are working close with various stakeholders in the Arctic region is the “Gender Equality in the Arctic Network” (GEA); a network initiative currently based out of Akureyri, Iceland. The GEA is endorsed by the Arctic Council’s Sustainable Development Working Group.

The GEA highlights “the importance of recognition and appreciation of diversity in terms of discourses, gender, indigenous and non-indigenous peoples, governance, education, economies, social realities, sustainability and balanced participation in leadership and decision making both in the public and private sectors.”  

The process to establish the GEA began in 2013 with “a project aimed to promote a dialogue on gender equality in the Arctic region and to raise awareness of the situation of women and men in the Arctic.” Phase I started with the GEA taking a lead in raising awareness of the need for gender equality in the Arctic through a conference in Akureyri in October 2014. The event had 150 scholars, in addition to various other important stakeholders, including NGOs, politicians, government and business representatives from all the Arctic states.

Following up on the dialogue and work of the conference, the GEA published the Gender Equality in the Arctic: Current realities, future challenges report.

The report aimed to advance the debate and research on gender in the Arctic. The digital version of report and details of the conference are available on the GEA website under Phase I, and the link playlist with audio recordings is here

Phase II built on the success of the 2014 conference and the 2015 report. It involved the establishment of a website and network to build on the gender discussion. It involved formalizing the network by easing access to resources through the online website platform; organizing, collaborating and participating in further workshops and conferences; and helping to encourage cooperation between existing networks.  

Now the GEA has progressed to Phase III. Phase III is currently being developed and is set to take place May 2019 -May 2021. To learn more about Phase III and the GEA, please visit Also visit their twitter account (@GenderArctic) to learn more and be part of the Arctic gender equality discussion!


Gender Equality in the Arctic. Accessed 24 March 2019.

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