Dr. Nighisty Ghezae, Director
Science is the driver of economic and social development. But there are still too few women in science. If women are under-represented in any field or profession, society as a whole cannot reach its full potential.
IFS supports women scientists in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, focusing on developing their skills in research conceptualisation and science communication, as well as funding their scientific investigations. We endeavour to give prominence to women scientists through operating a positive higher-age eligibility policy to facilitate a proportioned balance between their professional and family lives.
We continually seek mechanisms for inspiring female undergraduates to pursue careers in research. It is vital that female and male scientists at the beginning of their research careers be adequately supported through, for example, IFS grants to become established in their fields. It is important for women students to be able to have successful women scientists as leaders and mentors. It is vital that IFS alumnae receive encouragement and support in these roles in order to disseminate and propagate their leadership and research skills, which can serve to help solving the problems faced by women in both rural and urban areas.
Historically, 25-30% of the IFS competitive research grants go to women scientists. But of course we are striving to go beyond this and our goal is to change those numbers to 50-50 well before the 2030 'deadline' of 'Planet 50-50'. With role models such as Dr Folasade Olajuyigbe of Nigeria, whose successful IFS-supported research is described here, we are confident we shall achieve our goal.
This is very encouraging. Thank you IFS for the efforts on enhancing the capabilities of women scientists in Africa.