On South Africa’s National Women’s Day  we celebrate all the women involved in the South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP). In the 60 years since the vents of 1956, the phrase has come to represent women’s courage and strength in South Africa. This day is celebrated to empower women and raise awareness. In the last few years many events came about within the Antarctic environment. See the events on the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research website. In South Africa many women play a leading role within the SANAP.

                                                            From L-R: The Department of Environment, Fisheries and Forestry: Minister Barbara Creecy; the Department of Science and Innovation: (previous) Minister Naledi Pandor  and of the National Research Foundation (NRF) Director: Knowledge Advancement and Support, Tracy Klarenbeek

                                                           Within the Department of Environment, Fisheries and Forestry; (From L- R) Deputy Director-General Oceans and Coasts: Ms Judy Beaumont, Deputy Director: Vessel and Helicopter Management .Directorate: Southern Oceans and Antarctic Support: Ms Khuselwa Ngxabani; Operations and Logistics. Deputy Director: Chuma Phamoli

                       66% of the South Africa National Committee for SCAR is women and chaired by Bettine Jansen van Vuuren(left).  70% of APECSSA is also women, chaired by Liezel Rudolph(2nd) and the founder member was Christel Hansen(3rd). The Champion for South Africa Gateway City, Cape Town is Rudzani Silima(right).

                               The two team leaders currently at the South African stations on SANAE(59) and at Marion Island(77) are women. Dr Abigail(Aby) Paton (left) is not new to SANAP and the first women to do 3 consecutive overwinters in Antarctica (SANAE54,55,56 see images below). Winnie  Moodaley (middle) was a member of Marion 76 and to stayed on as Leader for Marion 77 so this is also her consecutive year. Michelle(Risi)Jones(right) current at Gough Island is part of Gough 64 and Gough 65.

                                      Gendered Power Relations and Sexual Harassment in Antarctic Science in the Age of #MeToo by Meredith Nash and Hanne Nielsen Published online: 09 Jun 2020. “The presence and impact of female Antarctic researchers has increased rapidly. In the 1950s most countries did not allow women to work in Antarctica and there were few female Antarctic scientists. Today females are playing leading and influential roles in Antarctic research.”

                         Celebration of Women in Antarctic Research 23 August 2016,Malaysia. This event was a celebration of female Antarctic researchers and aimed to raise their profile to help provide more visible female role models for early career scientists. SANAP was represented(image right).

  • Join the Facebook group Women in Polar Science
  • Follow below on Twitter:
  • Ocean Women @OceanWomxn
  • WomenInScienceSA @OWSD_SA
  • Women in Polar Science @WomeninPolarSci

To read more about the women in history of South African National Antarctic Programme visit the Antarctic Legacy of South Africa website

Visit the South African Government's COVID-19 Information page at sacoronavirus.co.za

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