Gro Brundtland Week of Women in Sustainable Development Kicks off at NCKU

A- | A+

Gro Harlem Brundtland, the first female PM of Norway, has long dedicated herself to the promotion of women in government and science. With her winning of the Tang Prize in 2014 for her foundational work in sustainable development, the former PM was awarded 40 million NTD in prize money as well as a 10 million NTD grant, half of which she gave to National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) to support female scientists. The offshoot of the grant, Gro Brundtland Week of Women in Sustainable Development, began Sunday, February 23 at the Magic School of Green Technologies at NCKU under the auspices of academician Liu Chao-Han, NKCU President Su Huey-Jen, and Tang Prize Director Chang Herng-Yuh. The over 300 attendees and scholars from all over the globe kicked off the event, which focuses on the role of women in environment and sustainability.

With topics including women and children’s health, communicable disease, environment and sustainability, discussion began with two days of lectures and forums at NCKU on February 21 and 22, then moves to Hualien’s National Dong Hwa University on the 24th and the Academia Sinica in Taipei on the 25th.

John Spengler of the Harvard School of Public Health delivered the first plenary session held immediately after the opening ceremony with the topic “Our Common Future Depends on What We Do Now!,” which was followed by a discussion forum at NCKU’s medical building. The next session was given by Nancy Lewis from Hawaii’s East-West Center on “The Journey to Sustainable Development: Charting a Gender Responsive Course.”

For sessions on the 24th and 25th, NCKU invited Yuan T. Lee and Wen-Harn Pan, both of the Academia Sinica, to deliver talks on sustainability. For the session schedule, please visit (Chinese/English).

The highlight of the week, however, is the group of five female scientists from developing countries and Taiwan, who were invited to Taiwan to attend the week of talks. While they share their own work in the areas of health, sustainability, they will also work to improve the situation of women in science and society, and establish ties with similar efforts in other countries. Hailing from Pakistan, the Philippines, Bengal, and Taiwan, the five will visit the Tang Prize Foundation on Friday, February 26 to attend the closing ceremony.

Founded in December 2012 by Samuel Yin, the Tang Prize awarded its first year of prizes in 2014 in four fields: Sustainable Development, Biopharmaceutical Science, Sinology, and Rule of Law. Brundtland, the inaugural winner in Sustainable Development, dedicated a portion of her grant to raising the status of women in both science and society.