Mainstreaming women in science in Tanzania

Library, photo: Gillette Arthur, © UNESCO

In Tanzania, women represent 40% of university enrollment and just 24% of students enrolled in science, engineering and technology fields.

In August 2007, the heads of UN agencies agreed to UNESCO’s proposal for science components to be included in the One UN programme for Tanzania. Within this programme, UNESCO co-ordinates the section on improving management and governance of the science, technology and innovation (STI) system under the umbrella of the Joint Programme on Capacity Strengthening for Development Management.

UNESCO was quick to realize that, without developing appropriate capacities of women working in science, technology and innovation, a vital component of the Tanzanian population would be lost and that overlooking this component would undermine efforts to reform and reposition Tanzania’s STI system.

UNESCO thus offered its support in improving the situation of women in science, engineering and mathematics education and in furthering their careers in science, engineering and technology. Consequently, UNESCO provided assistance for the formation of a Women in Science Group to undertake advocacy work in Tanzania. This group has taken the name of Science, Technology and Innovation for Women (STI4W). Its approach is based on the Science and Technology Gender ‘Transformation Actions’ identified in the recommendations of the United Nations Commission for Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD, 1993).

UNESCO has supported a Task Force of the STI4W to develop a Rolling Strategic Plan and a Constitution by providing evidence-based data to support the group’s work and by commissioning a survey in 2011 of the participation of women in industries based on science, engineering and technology.

Read the survey


Source: UNESCO Country Planning Document for Tanzania (2011–2015)

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