RWANDAN women scientists have entered a new partnership expected to help increase their visibility.
The new partnership announced last Friday brings together Rwandan Association for Women in Science and Engineering (RAWISE), a non-profit organisation and Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), Rwanda chapter.
RAWISE was established last year by a group of Rwandan female engineers and scientists to provide a platform that would support the visibility of women in STEM and empower young girls and women to pursue more careers.
At the launch of the new partnership, Didacienne Mukanyiligira, the president of the OWSD-Rwanda National Chapter, said that the initiative would help facilitate and ensure that there is increased participation of women in STEM-related activities and initiate science-based activities that address national concerns, working with all levels of society.
“If a woman is left behind, we will not achieve the development that we wish for. No country has ever moved from developing to developed status without well-educated scientists and engineers.”
Alice Ikuzwe, the chairperson of RAWISE, said their goal is to showcase the work of Rwandan women in STEM and highlight the challenges they face while providing role models for younger women wishing to enter the fields of science and engineering.
RAWISE is involved in different activities, including outreach and mentoring programmes as well as research.
Marie-Christine Gasingirwa, the Director of Science and Technology, at the Ministry of Education, while officiating the launch, noted that STEM fields offer some of the fastest growing fields with so many employment opportunities and that women deserve a chance to access these opportunities.
“Working in STEM means that you’re innovative, creative, passionate, a critical thinker, good analyser and decision maker based on evidence generated from research. STEM needs women and women need STEM,” she said.
OWSD aims at uniting eminent women scientists from the developing and developed worlds with the objective of strengthening their role in the development process and promoting their representation in scientific and technological leadership.