2023 Space4Women Expert Meeting

Monday, 30 October 2023 - 12:15am to Friday, 03 November 2023 - 5:00pm
United Nations/Canada Space for Women Expert Meeting 
"Building capacity to promote and advance gender equality in the space sector"


Organized jointly by: 

United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) 

Canadian Space Agency (CSA) 

30 October - 3 November 2023, Montreal, Canada

The application period is closed.


    - Selected participants were informed about the selection results.

    - Applicants who did not receive any communication from the organizers were not selected.


1. Background: 

The meeting is part of the "Space for Women" Project (Space4Women). Space4Women encourages women and girls to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and raises awareness about career opportunities and the importance of gender equality and empowerment in the space sector. 

The focus of the meeting will be to discuss efforts to ensure that the benefits of space reach women and girls, as well as to foster their equal and active role in the areas of space science, technology, innovation and exploration. During the meeting, the participants will have the opportunity to engage in presentations, discussions and networking, with the aim to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the space area in accordance with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 4 (Quality Education) and 5 (Gender Equality). 

The 2023 Space4Women Expert Meeting is organized with the Canadian Space Agency and will take place the week of 30 October to 3 November 2023 in Montréal, Canada. This is the 4th meeting organized by UNOOSA and co-hosting organization(s).  

The first Expert Meeting on Space4Women, jointly organized with UN-WOMEN, took place in 2017 in New York; the second Expert Meeting “Initiatives, challenges and opportunities for women in space” took place in October 2021 and was organized with Brazil and the United Arab Emirates. In 2022, the third Expert Meeting “Access and participation of women and girls in the space sector” was organized in collaboration with the Republic of Korea.  


2. Objectives: 

The Space4Women Expert Meetings have the general objectives of raising awareness about the role of women in the advancement of space science, technologies, applications and space exploration; to identify challenges, opportunities and effective interventions to promote and advance women and girls in the space sector, and to make it more equitable, diverse, and inclusive.  

Building on the results of the previous meetings, the 2023 Expert Meeting will focus on building the capacity of participants to promote and advance gender equality and empower women and girls in the space sector, in efforts to inspire and help participants to drive gender equality efforts forward in their country. 

More specifically, the meeting aims to: 

  1. Support the development of skills to integrate gender mainstreaming into national space strategies and policies, including in STEM and the development of research, technology and applications; 

  1. Understand women’s perspectives and needs in the context of space research, space science, and space technology and their applications; 

  1. Discuss further action to achieve the targets set out in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, including removing barriers and bias to gender equality and the objective of a gender-balanced workforce by 2030; 

  1. Empower participants to: a) Encourage gender equality efforts for change at institutional/organizational level; b) take individual action to support women and girls in the space sector and STEM;

  2. Bring together experts to contribute to the event through presentations, sharing of expertise and experience, and preparation of a gender mainstreaming toolkit for space sector. 


3. Outcomes:  

  • Participants have increased knowledge on:  

    • gender mainstreaming in the space sector; 

    • how space research, science, and technology can advance gender equality; 

    • the intersection between gender and other identity factors (i.e. race, ethnicity, age). 

  • Participants have exchanged expertise and learned from experience/examples of work of other participants (e.g. to replicate existing actions, project and/or policies).  

  • Participants act at national, regional, local, collective and/or individual level to advance gender equality in the space sector.    

  • Participants have created a new network of experts. 


4. Outputs:  

  • Outcome Report (to be presented at 67th COPUOS (June 2024); and 

  • Draft Gender Mainstreaming Toolkit. Once finalized, the toolkit will be shared with public and private institutions to support them in mainstreaming gender in their contexts. The Toolkit will be made publicly available.  


5. Participants: 

Experts and decision-makers from the space community, including: 

  • Governmental entities (ministries, space agencies, etc.); 

  • Academia and research centres; 

  • Private sector; 

  • Civil society; and

  • Regional and international organizations. 


6. Programme: 

Plenary sessions  

  1. How can space technology and innovation advance gender equality? Showcasing successful example of women's empowerment through space technology and applications. 

  1. Gender mainstreaming in space policy, strategy, technology and exploration: good practices and lessons learned.  

  1. Measuring women in the space workforce: existing efforts and progress. 

  1. Inspire through story-telling: women professionals in the space sector, including STEM fields.  

  1. Working together: recognizing and challenging gender bias, exploring allyship, and uplifting women and girls in space sector and STEM.  

Working group sessions 

Gender mainstreaming is a key strategy to create a more inclusive and gender-balanced space sector.  Experts will be divided into working groups to support the preparation of a gender mainstreaming toolkit specifically dedicated to the space sector.  

Participants wishing to contribute to the programme as speakers will be asked to include an abstract of maximum 250 words in the online application form, in line with the objectives (section 2) of the expert meeting. 

Other Activities 

The event will include a side event at the Canadian Space Agency. 

A poster session will be included for those participants interested in showcasing their work on gender equality in the space sector, including STEM. Participants wishing to present their poster will be asked to include an abstract of maximum 250 words in the online application form, in line with the objectives (section 2) of the expert meeting.  


7. Language of the meeting

The working language of the Expert Meeting will be English.  


8. Financial support

A limited number of selected participants will be offered financial support to attend the Expert Meeting. This financial support will defray the cost of travel (a round trip air-ticket – most economic fare – between the airport of international departure in their home country and Montréal, Canada) and/or the room and board expenses for the duration of the Expert Meeting. Please also note that in order to visit Canada, foreigners, depending on their nationality, may need to obtain a visitor visa or an Electronic travel authorization (eTA). 

Please note that qualified applicants who can fund their round-trip travel and/or living expenses will be considered on a priority basis. Thus, we strongly encourage applicants to seek alternative funding to secure their participation.  

However, applicants wishing to receive financial support to attend the meeting will be able to request it through the online application and in the signature form. 


9. Submission and deadline for application

The application period is open from 27 March to 23 April 2023.  

Interested applicants must submit their application by 23.04.2023, 23:59 EST.  


All applicants interested in participating in the expert meeting must complete the following three steps, by 23 April 2023, 23:59 EST.  

  1. Fill in online application form 
  2. Send signed signature form
  3. Send CV 

The signed signature form and your CV should be completed in English and submitted no later than 23 April 2023, 23:59 EST in one single email to space4women@un.org.  

Only completed applications with all the requested information and documents will be considered.  

All three steps are described below:  

  1. Fill in the application form. The application form includes open-ended questions on: 
  • Professional experience relevant to gender equality in the space or STEM sectors; 

  • Experience in gender mainstreaming, if any; 

  • Motivation to participate in the expert meeting; 

  • Expectations from the meeting; 

  • How learning and networking at the meeting will be used after the event. 

The online application form is available here

  2. Send the signature form in PDF, signed by the applicant and the Head of the nominating agency/organization.

Please name your file: Surname_Name_Signature form.  

Why is this form necessary? To confirm that you have adequate health insurance; to confirm if you need funding; and to confirm that the organization that you represent (which can also be your own company) has approved your potential participation. If you are applying in your individual capacity, the latter element will not apply. Instructions are detailed in the signature form. 

The signature form is available here: signature form.

  3. Send your CV of maximum 2 pages in PDF.

Please name your file: Surname_Name_CV


Besides the three above mentioned steps, applicants who wish to contribute to the event as a speaker or to present a poster will be asked to include an abstract of maximum 250 words in the online application form. Please note that this is not mandatory, but it is recommended in case you want to apply as a fully/partially funded participant. Please also note that if you submit an abstract and are selected as participant, this does not automatically imply that you will selected as a speaker. 

To facilitate the application preparation, Annex 1 in the Information and Application Note includes more details about the questions that applicants will find in the online application. Please note that only applications submitted through the online form will be accepted. 


The United Nations encourages all qualified applicants, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, religious, cultural and ethnic backgrounds or disabilities to apply. 

As gender equality benefits all genders (i.e. women, men, and gender-diverse individuals), we encourage everyone to apply.  

Successful candidates will be contacted by email in June. Organizers will announce when the selection is completed on the event webpage. Due to the high number of applicants, unsuccessful candidates will not be notified individually, and organizers will not able to provide individual feedback. 


Selection Criteria 

Criteria to select participants include motivation, experience in the area of gender equality and/or gender mainstreaming in the space sector and/or STEM.  Presentation and poster abstracts will be evaluated based on relevance of topic, alignment to 2023 Expert Meeting objectives (see section 2), concrete application on the proposed subject, and sound structure. 

To encourage equitable access to opportunity, the selection process will consider additional criteria, including regional representativeness and gender balance. In addition, participants may also be given further consideration if they self-identify as belonging to one or more vulnerable groups (e.g. indigenous people, LGBTQI+, persons with disabilities, and others). 


10. Life and health insurance

Life/major health insurance for each of the selected participants is necessary and is the responsibility of the candidate or their institution or Government. The co-sponsors will not assume any responsibility for life and major health insurance, nor for expenses related to medical treatment or accidents.  


11. Further information and contact details

For information, please contact UNOOSA at space4women@un.org.  

Organizers retain the right to change the programme. 

UNOOSA and CSA organized an online information session to provide further details and reply to questions about the event. The event took place on 4 April at 15:00 CEST.

Did you miss it? Watch it here!