UNIDIR Launches Women in AI Fellowship 

6 March 2024
UNIDIR Launches Women in AI Fellowship 

The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) is launching the pilot edition of its Women.AI Fellowship today. Through an open call for applications, women diplomats are encouraged to submit their applications to join this initiative, which includes a one-week training programme in Geneva. The programme aims to equip participants with the essential knowledge, skills and resources needed to actively engage in multilateral discussions on artificial intelligence (AI) within the field of international peace and security. 

UNIDIR’s research has shown that women are chronically underrepresented in international security processes, with only one in every three diplomats accredited to arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament forums being women. Women’s underrepresentation can reinforce stereotypes that devalue women’s expertise and lead to a vicious cycle where perspectives and knowledge of large segments of the population continue to be excluded.  

The consequences of these oversights can be seen in policy and technology development alike. Speaking at UNIDIR’s “Fixing Gender Glitches in Military AI” event, Renata Hessmann Dalaqua, Head of UNIDIR’s Gender and Disarmament Programme, addressed the challenge of bias in artificial intelligence, pointing out that AI applications such as voice recognition, image detection and machine translation currently recognize men at higher rates than women. She added, “To tackle this issue, we need to diversify the people involved and expand the framework of expertise. Increasing women’s participation and valuing gender expertise are important steps in that direction”.  

For more information on the fellowship and application process, please refer to the call for applications