“Women of the Arctic” will begin with a special theatre performance at the welcoming reception of the 2018 UArctic Congress in Helsinki on September 6th. It will continue with a FULL-day of programming on September 7th.


september 6:

THE Arctic cycle performance of 'whale song'

Supported by funding from NordForsk, “Women of the Arctic” organizers are collaborating with The Arctic Cycle playwright and Artistic Director, Chantal Bilodeau, to present a short play, Whale Song, inspired by the women of Alaska. Whale Song is a 15-minute live performance about the migration of several females – both human and animal – within, as well as in an out of Alaska, against a backdrop of climate change. It will take place at The Think Corner, during the evening reception of the UArctic Congress.

september 7:

There will be three 90-minute panels focusing on women’s issues and perspectives in decision-making, business, science and education as well as ‘uncomfortable’ conversations related to Arctic women and gender that often remain sidelined in the mainstream discourse. Among the invited panelists are women from all of the Arctic states, representing both public and private sectors, of indigenous and non-indigenous origins.

Three questions:

All panels will be guided by a series of three overarching questions:

  1. What do women of the Arctic see as the most pressing issues to be addressed in their respective fields/communities?
  2. What do they see as the greatest challenges in addressing these issues?
  3. Which tools do women of the Arctic identify as necessary to solving these issues? Alternatively, which tools are already working?


Northern Women at the Table: From Community to Business Leaders

This panel draws on the experiences of women mayors, entrepreneurs, and civil society leaders to debate their experiences at the table, ways of increasing women’s representation across all those sectors, and to encourage the stepping up of the next generation of women leaders.

panel 2

Women in Arctic Science & Exploration

Panelists with a background in traditional and indigenous knowledge, as well as Western science, from both Arctic and non-Arctic countries will explore how policy, education, international collaboration and mentoring can support women’s scientific careers and promote greater diversity in polar science.

panel 3

Grappling with ‘Uncomfortable’ Conversations

Speakers on this panel will examine some of the causes of, and solutions to, gender-based violence in northern communities and industries which disproportionately impact the lives of northern women. Special focus will be given to the role that art can play in unpacking and healing from such experiences.


UArctic Congress Closing Session
With Tarja Halonen


The day will end with the UArctic Congress Closing Session with former President of Finland, Ms. Tarja Halonen, the first woman to hold the position and an active spokesperson on gender issues and girl’s and women’s rights. See following page for panel details.