Gender Equality is Imperative to Advance STI for Development

Moderator:
Prof Roseanne Diab
Panellists:
Ms Dorothy Ngila
Ms Elzarie Swanepoel
Ms Ndoni Mcunu
Prof Tricia Naicker

Ms Dorothy Ngila

Dorothy Ngila advances her career at South Africa’s National Research Foundation. She coordinates the NRF’s contribution to the Science Granting Councils Initiative in sub-Saharan Africa. Under 35, she serves as the Chair to the Executive Committee of the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World South African National Chapter; and the Gender Working Group of the Global Research Council. With an Afropolitan background (Kenya, Botswana and South Africa), Ms Ngila possesses MSocSci (Geography and Environmental Management, University of KwaZulu-Natal) and BA (Public Administration and Environmental Sciences, University of Botswana) degrees. She is currently studying towards a PhD in Science and Technology Studies.

Ms Elzarie Swanepoel

Ms Elzarie Swanepoel is the Liaison Officer for Gender in Science, Technology and Innovation at the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). Her primary responsibilities include the development of gender-conscious and responsive research and innovation (R&I) practice at universities; directing South Africa’s engagement with the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) and Gender In Science, Innovation, Technology and Engineering (GenderInSITE). She has experience in both the private and government sectors. She received BSc and BSc (Hons) degrees in 2013 and 2014 from the University of Pretoria. Following a gap year during 2015 (with active professional development in the health sector), she graduated with the highly competitive Postgraduate Programme in Management from WITS Business School in 2016. As part of this programme, she was accepted as an intern at New York University (NYU) where she focused on gender and diversity and graduated with a distinction for the seminar component completed as part of the WITS programme requirements.

Ms Ndoni Mcunu

Miss Ndoni Mcunuis currently pursuing a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) at the Global Change Institute at Witwatersrand University. Ndoni is also the founder & Chief Executive Officer of Black Women in Science (BWIS) a registered non-profit organization which aims to deliver capacity development interventions that target young black women scientists and researchers. She was selected as the top 200 Mail and Guardian Young South Africans, under the education sector 2016. She is a Mandela Washington Fellow 2017, selected for her contribution in Civic Leadership development in Africa for her work in BWIS.

She received an Honorary Award from the KwaZulu-Natal Province in the division of Science Research and Entrepreneurship given by the KZN Young Achievers Awards and eThekwini Municipality. She is a winner of the Gagasi FM – SHERO Award for the Science and Technology category. Miss Mcunu is in the Steering Committee for WISET. She is also a Greenmatter Fellow for her academic research in climate change and agriculture. Mcunu has been listed as the Top 50 most Inspiring Women in Tech in South Africa in 2017, which is an award issued by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and South Africa.

Prof Roseanne Diab

Roseanne Diab is Executive Officer of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and Emeritus Professor in Environmental Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She is a Fellow of the university, the South African Geographical Society, The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and a Member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). Her research interests are in Atmospheric Science, with a focus on climate change and air quality. She has over 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals and has supervised approximately 50 PhD and Masters’ students. Prof Diab has served on numerous international committees such as the International Ozone Commission (IOC), the Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution (CACGP) and the SPARC (Stratospheric Processes and their Role in Climate) Steering Group. She currently serves on the African Union High-level Panel on Emerging Technologies. She is active in the Organisation for Women Scientists in the Developing World (OWSD) and serves on the Gender Advisory Board to TWAS

Prof Tricia Naicker

Tricia Naicker is University of KwaZulu Natal’s youngest associate professor in the College of Health Sciences, Discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Naicker completed her PhD (chemistry) in 2011 on asymmetric organocatalysis that was the first to be explored in Africa. Her research outputs endorsed the prestigious Oppenheimer postdoctoral award, which she pursed at Aarhus University, Denmark under the guidance of world-renowned leader Prof KA Jorgensen. After a very successful postdoctoral stint, she was appointed as an academic at University of KwaZulu Natal in 2013. Based on her specialized expertise and being the pioneer in the field, the highly-ranked Catalysis and Peptide Research Unit at UKZN commenced collaboration with her as the first women to join their team. After a short time, Naicker has become a principle investigator in the unit and took over the leadership of the synthetic division for drug discovery. She maintains the importance of active research by the supervision and mentorship of younger academics/postgrads by initiating collaborations (local and international) with emerging researchers as well as school learners to further their studies. Her current research interests in drug discovery focused toward method development in organic synthesis of biologically important intermediates/drugs within the field of antibacterials.


The deliberations will focus on innovation of how gender equality is used to advance science technology and innovation for escalating inclusive human capital of the country and the continent. Gender equality is not just a single goal of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 5), but cuts across several of the other SDGs as set out by the United Nations. Various advancements have been made towards gender equality in science, technology and innovation, in industries, private and government sector, regionally, nationally, and internationally. This session will also consider some of the advancements towards promoting women as early career scientists and technologists. The “leaky pipeline” phenomenon is still a critical developmental challenge, highlighted anew at various Gender Summits and the Next Einstein Forum. This discussion will also aim to ignite conversations around addressing this phenomenon, and contextualise various forms of collaboration with a variety of networks to initiate an implementation model to promote all genders. The distinction of equality and equity will also be addressed, and how equity may lead to equality.

The conclusions of the panel discussion will inform policy makers, academic planners, both male and female scientists, media and civil society on the importance of gender equality to advance science, technology and innovation for development, at national, regional and global levels. The discussion will highlight the impact of using a gender lens to bring about gender equality in society, and suggest ways of how national governments can improve their support to enhance their contribution to inclusive development.

This session is sponsored by the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) South African National Chapter (SANC) and Gender in Science, Innovation, Technology and Engineering (GenderInSITE), both of which are hosted by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).

 

2018-11-27T12:11:08+00:00