Realizing that the low representation of women in science and engineering is a major hindrance to global capacity building in science and technology, the IAC formed an Advisory Panel on Women for science with the mandate to review previous studies, provide examples of effective projects already implemented, and issue a set of actionable recommendations addressed particularly to the world’s science and engineering academies.
The recommendations and action items developed through the work of this Panel are presented in this report and are grouped around three themes:
The complete report is available on this site through the links below. The complete report is also avaliable for download as PDF files.
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Mahatma Gandhi had a deep appreciation of the value of educating women: ‘When a man is educated, an individual is educated; when a woman is educated, a family and a country are educated.’ Such imparting of critical skills —in a word, empowerment—has three essential elements: a teaching method that fits the needs and circumstances of the audience; a teacher well versed in the required knowledge, who is able to engage the target audience; and the incorporation of the traditional knowledge and expertise of the students into the capacity-building effort.
Moreover, certain common-sense principles of what technological skills to transfer, and to whom, apply to virtually all grassroots economic endeavours both urban and rural. If a developing country’s agriculture, for instance, is to be sustainable, skilled workers in its farming communities are needed. And given that women perform a large fraction of the farm activities, S&T tools (both literal and figurative) will add great value to the local knowledge of rural women and enable them to face the challenges of sustaining high levels of crop productivity.
Thus rural women who own land may want to learn about seeds, fertilizer, water management, and pest control, while rural women who do not own land may want to acquire skills that enable them to establish businesses that make use of local agricultural processes and products.