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Women in Astronomy Meeting (WAM)

Monday 21 August 2006
at the IAU XXVIth General Assembly

The IAU XXVI GA Women in Astronomy Meeting luncheon was held on Monday 21 August. The WAM ran from 12.30pm to 2.00pm and all IAU delegates were invited. The meeting was held in the Small Hall on the ground floor of the Prague Congress Centre.


The second working lunch of the IAU Working Group on Women in Astronomy was attended by more than 300 people from 49 countries, including the IAU Presidents (past, current and future) and 8% men. The theme of the lunch was Career Development for Women with two keynote speakers, Pat Knezek of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory and Sunetra Giridhar of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics. The speeches were followed by break out groups of 10-12 who discused various issues over lunch, focusing on changes in the status of women in astronomy since the 2003 General Assembly in Sydney and strategies that will improve the environment for all astronomers.

Specific issues raised and submitted to the incoming IAU Executive included: (1) ensure adequate representation for women in IAU bodies, on Science Organizing Committees and as invited speakers for Symposia, (2) make the provision of childcare at meetings, either supplied or paid for, a priority. It was also mentioned that the IAU gender statistics gives an incomplete picture because younger astronomers, both men and women, are not usually members of the IAU. It was also noted that subtle discrimination still exists; merit criteria for awards, promotions and jobs are often biased against women; non-standard career paths (often affecting women) are a disadvantage for career development; and finally that the 2-body problem (how to progress two careers equitably) often disadvantages women more than men.

A brief report on the outcomes was printed in the IAU Newspaper and a more detailed report was included in the IAU Information Bulletin 99.

Sunetra Giridhar Pat Knezek Breakout session

WAM Organising Committee

Co-chairs: Anne Green (Sydney) & Sarah Maddison (Swinburne)

Johannes Andersen (Niels Bohr)
Olga Dluzhnevskaya (INASAN)
Gloria Dubner (IAFE)
Andrea Dupree (CfA)
Elizabeth Griffin (DAO)
Miller Goss (NRAO)
Mary Kontizas (Athens)
Birgitta Nordstrom (Niels Bohr)
Francesca Primas (ESO)
Sylvia Torres Peimbert (UNAM)
Yiping Wang (Purple Mountain)
Shahinaz Yousef (Cairo)

Return to IAU XXVI GA home
or the IAU Working Group on Women in Astronomy

© Swinburne Copyright and disclaimer information
Maintained by: Sarah Maddison (smaddison@swin.edu.au)
Authorised by: Prof. Karl Glazebrook (kglazebrook@ 15;win.edu.au)
Tuesday, 14-Apr-2020 21:31:40 AEST