Sahar Nasr, minister of investment and international cooperation, said the Egyptian government pays great attention to the scientific and economic empowerment of Egyptian women, in accordance with the directives of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
She added that real investments are not only intended to achieve sales and profits in the Egyptian market, but pointed to the importance of investments that have an impact on communities in which they are funnelled through development initiatives.
This came on the sidelines of the inaugural ceremony of L’Oréal Egypt, the Egyptian version of the L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science fellowships, in collaboration with the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, which represents a new commitment to empowering more Egyptian female scientists and researchers.
For her part, Annie Black, the president of L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science programme, said that women are still marginalised globally in public and professional life, especially in science.
She added that today, women account for 28% of scientists, while only 3% of Nobel science laureates have been females since the award was launched in 1901.
Black said that although the proportion of women working in science has increased by 12%, it is still low, pointing out that less than 30% of researchers are women.
“Women occupy only 11% of the leading academic positions in Europe,” she added.
Black said that the programme is designed to enhance the progress of young female researchers globally.
“I am very proud to witness the launching of the program in Egypt on the sidelines of the 20th anniversary of the programme and I am honoured to honour more Egyptian programme fellows from this promising country,” she continued.
Meanwhile, Mahmoud Sakr, president of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, said that with the honourable representation of the female Egyptian scientists and their current representation of 43% of the total percentage of scientists in Egypt, he expects female Egyptian scientists to lead the locomotive of scientific research.
Sakr stressed that serious and clear steps in the scientific research sector will only be achieved through cooperation between the public and private sectors to enable more researchers to encourage innovative and practical solutions to meet the growing demands of society.
“Equality in science is not only a path of justice or a genuine human right, but it is also a key tool for promoting scientific and technological excellence,” Ghaith Fariz, director of the UNESCO regional bureau for the sciences in the Arab states, stressed.
L’Oreal Egypt announced that the application forms will continue to be received until 15 July, 2018. The evaluation phase will follow, to be executed by a group of leading Egyptian scientists headed by Najwa Abdel Meguid. Winners of the fellowship programme will be announced in November. The company officials also explained the stages of the programme and the conditions of enrolment.