Statement from the AIMS CEO on the Celebration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Theme: Women Scientists at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19

Today, we celebrate every woman scientist across the globe, especially the women at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19.

According to UNESCO, less than 30% of researchers worldwide are women, with only around 30% of female students pursuing STEM fields. These statistics reinforce the relevance of AIMS’ mission, enabling Africa’s brightest students to flourish as independent thinkers, problem solvers and innovators capable of propelling the continent’s scientific, educational and economic self-sufficiency. We achieve this by making gender mainstream across all our initiatives, namely our Centres of Excellence, Research Centres, AIMS Industry Initiative, Teacher Training, Quantum Leap Africa, and the Next Einstein Forum. While applying a 30% minimum quota to ensure the recruitment of women into AIMS programs, our gender-responsive Teacher Training program is working to improve STEM learning outcomes for secondary school students, especially girls, to build a pipeline of STEM talent in Africa.

Gender parity in science is indispensable. The need for more women in science has become more glaring against the backdrop of the complex coronavirus. Women and girls represent half of the world’s population and, therefore, half of its potential. Ensuring women’s fuller participation in research, innovation, and development is the simplest and quickest way to connect research with societal needs and achieve socio-economic well-being for all.

Today, we salute all the women engaged in the fight against COVID-19, especially the members of the AIMS community of scientists.

Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!

Lydie Hakizimana

Chief Executive Officer, African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS)