June 20, 2019
The OWSD network continued to expand in 2019, with six new National Chapters established in Cameroon, Pakistan, Peru, Tanzania, Turkey, and Uruguay.
Tanzania, along with Turkey, became the first new OWSD National Chapter of 2019 when it was approved in February. The new Chapter was established at the Open University of Tanzania (OUT) in Dar es Salaam. Among the activities planned by the Executive Committee are outreach to young women in secondary schools and universities to encourage their participation in STEM, organizing training and workshops on career advancement for early career women scientists, fostering peer mentorship programmes for women scientists and engineers, and conducting research on STEM-related projects. Read more about the Tanzania National Chapter here.
Along with Tanzania, the OWSD Turkey National Chapter was one of the first two Chapters established in 2019. It was approved in February 2019 and offiically launched on 1 March 2019 in Ankara, alongside the Eurasia Higher Education Summit (EURIE). The National Chapter will be hosted at the Faculty of Pharmacy at Gazi University in Ankara. Read more about the Turkey National Chapter here.
The Cameroon National Chapter of OWSD was established in March 2019, hosted at the University of Yaounde I. Among the activities planned by the Executive Committee are: setting up STEM clubs in secondary schools; collecting data on gender statistics and participation of women in STEM research; teaching and governance; advocating for policies for gender mainstreaming in science and women's equal access to educational training and resources; and providing training and resources for women scientists, for career development and work-life balance. Read more about the Cameroon National Chapter here.
The Pakistan National Chapter of OWSD was established in April 2019, hosted at the Karachi Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (KIBGE) at the University of Karachi. The aims of the National Chapter include to contribute to shaping the future of international science and to create a valuable community for its members to be heard. "This is the time for the women in Pakistan to join hands and work for the development and advancement of science in Pakistan," said Chair Bina Siddiqui in a welcome statement to members. Read more about the Pakistan National Chapter here.
The Uruguay National Chapter of OWSD was established in April 2019, and is the first National Chapter to hold elections for its executive commitee online, evidencing their intention to go as paperless as possible. It is hosted at the Dirección de Innovación, Ciencia y Tecnología para el Desarrollo (DICYT), a department of the Ministerio de Educación y Cultura (MEC). The Uruguay National Chapter logo includes the Sol de Mayo also represented in the Uruguayan flag. Read more about the Uruguay National Chapter here.
In May 2019, OWSD members in Peru established the second National Chapter of OWSD to launch in Latin America this year. The National Chapter will be hosted at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (UNMSM) in Lima. Among the activities planned by its Executive Committee are organizing contests, courses, and skills-building workshops for women scientists in Peru and in the region, publishing a biannual journal on science, technology and gender with articles from Peruvian and Latin American researchers, strengthening scientific clubs, and disseminating information about careers in STEM to girls and women a website and social media. Read more about the Peru National Chapter here.