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As part of the 2017 International Women's Day, a call for nominations was launched in February 2017 to recognize Geneva-based individuals’ commitment and contribution to the advancement and support of gender equality and women's empowerment in the field of environment. An exhibition celebrating their achievements was launched on 8 March 2017, at the International Environment House.

Inger Andersen was appointed Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in January 2015. An outspoken advocate for women’s leadership, she lives by the motto that to truly empower women, data must reflect the full picture and that women’s leadership should be championed to work towards a more sustainable, equitable and peaceful world. She strongly believes that gender equality is not an ‘optional add on’, nor a last minute ‘box to check’. She feels that we need to recognize the different contributions that can be made to conservation, be they from men, women, girls or boys. Prior to joining IUCN, Inger held various leadership roles at the World Bank and United Nations. Her educational background includes BA and MA degrees with specialization in development economics.

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