To support the active participation of women chemists in upholding the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) organised an in-person training programme for women working in the field of chemistry at the OPCW laboratory outside The Hague, the Netherlands in May 2022.
The three-day training provided female chemistry practitioners with foundational knowledge as well as practical skills and techniques for the analysis of scheduled chemicals subject to verification under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). It also provided an opportunity for professional networking and discussions about how to increase the number of women working in the chemical sciences.
The training was attended by 10 female chemists from academic and government laboratories from 10 OPCW Member States: Botswana, El Salvador, Ghana, Iraq, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, and Zimbabwe.
The Basic Analytical Chemistry Course for Women fits under the umbrella of activities organised by OPCW to enhance and support the role of women in the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention. The OPCW highlights the contributions made by women in the field of chemistry through programmes such as the Symposium on Women in Chemistry and works to raise awareness of opportunities for women in the field of chemistry.
As the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, the OPCW, with its 193 Member States, oversees the global endeavour to permanently eliminate chemical weapons. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1997, it is the most successful disarmament treaty eliminating an entire class of weapons of mass destruction.
Over 99% of all declared chemical weapon stockpiles have been destroyed under OPCW verification. For its extensive efforts in eliminating chemical weapons, the OPCW received the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.