Five women scientists from the developing world have been awarded an international prize for research that promotes socio-economic development and a better quality of life. The awards; a partnership between the Elsevier Foundation and the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which took place in Austin, Texas this month (15-19 February). Hasibun Naher from Bangladesh, Germaine Djuidje Kenmoe from Cameroon, Silvia González Pérez from Ecuador, Dawn Iona Fox from Guyana and Witri Wahyu Lestari from Indonesia each received a US$5,000 cash prize for their work. Naher was recognized for her work on computer simulation of tsunamis; Djuidje Kenmoe for the study of molecular friction-and-wear for improving energy efficiency; González Pérez for molecular modeling of new sustainable materials; Fox for work on converting waste into materials with added value; and Lestari for her research on the synthesis of metal-organic frameworks for various applications in medicine or environmental protection.

OWSD president, Jennifer Thomson, says the women distinguished with the award “show that, if they have the opportunities and support, women in the developing world can become leaders in their fields”. Not all women have the opportunity to do so. According to 2015 data from UNESCO, women in much of the world face social, political and economic barriers to dedicating their working life to science — but those who live in developing countries can face additional, different obstacles. Poverty, for instance, is strongly linked with unequal access to secondary education, and this may keep women from obtaining a university degree in almost in any field. Another obstacle is related to culture and traditions that maintain inequalities between men and women. According to a UNESCO report from 2017, parents with more traditional beliefs about gender roles tend to discourage their daughters from pursuing a scientific career.

“To become a scientist in a developing country, a woman must be creative and committed”, Djuidje Kenmoe, the Cameroonian OWSD-Elsevier prize winner, told SciDev.Net. This, she added, is because, in addition to academic work, she will often be “tied to social and familial responsibilities and duties”. This highlights the importance of a prize that is specific to women scientists who live and work in developing countries, argues Hortensia Moreno, a researcher from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a specialist in gender studies.

According to Moreno, this prize highlights the need to promote women scientists’ presence in scientific fields they may have been prevented from entering — both informal ways, for example through restrictions on studying or entering into academic life, and in symbolic ways, through “myths, stereotypes, and narratives that feed the false notion that women do not have an aptitude for science”. Djuidje Kenmoe believes that science and education can promote change in her community. This is why part of her work is about convincing families that they “should offer a girl the same opportunities they offer to a boy. Girls ought to know that when they have a job they can be financially independent, and have an important power in family decisions”.

Moreno also stated that the prizes represent the interests of the organizations that grant them. They can “legitimize economic power”, but also have value as “they allow even a minimal distribution of wealth”. The Elsevier Foundation has faced strong criticism from the scientific communities in several European countries, who pay large sums to publish and access articles in journals owned by Elsevier. At the end of last year, 200 German academic institutions canceled their subscriptions to the publishing house in a push for national negotiation that offers fairer payments for their publications and open access for the institutions that produce them.

Source: iAfrikan

Born October 09, 1951, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Luiza Helena Trajano is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Magazine Luiza; one of the largest Brazilian retailers, headquartered in the city of Franca Sao Paulo.

Trojano studied at Faculdade de Direito de Franca, where she earned a degree in Law in 1972. A businesswoman, Trojana is responsible for the growth of one of Brazil’s largest retail outlets with more than 800 stores, located in 16 states of the country and a strong e-commerce operation.

Her journey to the top was not a smooth ail as she went through several sectors, such as collection and sales, before becoming Director-Superintendent of  Magazine Luiza in 1991, since then, she has served in various leadership positions before becoming Chairman of the Board of Directors of  Magazine Luiza.

Trojana has been recognized and honoured for her achievements in business, transforming a network of stores located in Franca, São Paulo, into a network strong enough to fight with the giants of retail business. Some of the honours she has received include the first woman and the only privately held retail company to receive this award in the “SUCCESSFUL 2000” promotion; Entrepreneur Award of the year awarded by Ernst & Young in the Commerce category year 2002; Entrepreneur of the Year Magazine É Magazine 2014 and numerous others.

Magazine Luiza was also been recognized for its people management policy was recognized with several awards. For 20 years, the network has been among the best companies to work on the Great Place to Work ranking its e-commerce operation won 12 times the Diamond trophy in the Excellence in Quality Award for Electronic Commerce – B2C. The company has been listed on the São Paulo Stock Exchange since May 2011.

Equal rights for women in Work Places
By: Faridah Mugimba Kakyama

Women have fought to achieve equal rights in many parts of Africa. But like in other regions of the World, a woman’s status varies by country and region.

In some organisations, women are regarded as being the equals of men, but their roles are nevertheless different. Some women with same qualifications exactly similar to those of men are still being paid less than men in similar positions. Men find in easier to be accepted in roles, unlike women who have children and maternity leave. The introduction of paternity leave in some developed countries has helped to an extent to bring some attention to the role women in family upbringing while maintaining their roles at the same time.

The care of children, the sick and the elderly, is generally viewed as the responsibility of women. With poor access to childcare facilities or health and support services in many African regions, caring for family members can take up a lot of a woman’s time, this affects their effective productive contribution towards income generation towards their families and the economy at large.

The Italian parliament is considering a law that, if approved, will grant women who experience dreadful period symptoms paid menstrual leave. Instead of using sick days, companies would have to give female workers an additional three days off each month; this would allow women to stay home from work whenever they experience extremely painful menstrual cramps. This action will show that the world is now beginning to understand women challenges compared to their male counter parts in a working environment.

Women in Agriculture and Industrial Sectors
In many parts of Africa, individual small scale and labour on large scale agriculture production farms are still being considered as a highly women’s role. However, women recently in many fast growing economies have started taking up physical production roles in the industrial sector in order to earn higher incomes, which puts their family’s standards of lives in better positions.

In some countries, women are still not equal in law. Even where they are legally equal to men, it is common for decisions to be taken by male heads of households or male leaders.

But providing girls with a good education is vital for a country’s development. When women are equipped with learning and share decisions about families and livelihoods, the productivity of a society rises and this changes the quality of lives in societies and our Economies. The role of women in in our economies can never be underestimated.

Women in Business and Entrepreneurship
The past few years have seen a rise in the number of women-owned businesses in Africa. Be it in IT, oil, mining, or in the aviation sector, female entrepreneurs are breaking gender stereotypes and showing that what a man can do, a woman can also do, if not better. Bold and fearlessly ambitious, these are some of the female business leaders who shape the future of the continent and inspire not only countless other women but also anyone who dares to dream.

It is no longer uncommon to find women running successful businesses in Africa and across the world alongside having a family. These women are happy to embrace a new set of challenges brought by such freedom.

Looking at most sectors across the economy, women today are still faced with issues of access, and it is more difficult for women to access support services to enable them to set up businesses. For the lucky ones, as soon as they have their businesses set up it then becomes a question of accessibility to markets and investment opportunities to sustain these businesses.

Top Women in Professional Roles
Where women undertake paid work, there is often a wage gap between their earnings and those of men. With jobs mostly entailing the same work, this gap can only be attributed to gender discrimination. In certain sectors, women also face barriers to joining trade unions or doing business as self-employed individuals.

Women in leadership roles play a very big part in empowering their counterparts, the more women we have and help in leadership roles the more our challenges will be addressed. The future looks more positive for women now than it was a few decades before.

Women in Politics
The increasing number of women in government positions is also of significant benefit in effecting change on vital issues. Some nations – such as Rwanda and Tanzania – have created a constitutional requirement for the government to include a certain number of women.

Even where there are no quotas, African governments are beginning to include more female politicians. In Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became the first woman to be President of a modern African nation. In 2012, Joyce Banda became Malawi’s first female President.

Women today find themselves staring at an interesting conundrum: they enjoy more rights today than perhaps ever before, and yet there seems to be the “glass ceiling” of patriarchal tradition. Women still earn less on average than men in the business world. Iconic Women like Michelle and Oprah have used their positions and roles to air women problems and they have made a very big impact in the new women generation for future leadership in our communities.

The United States reached the level of attempting to swear in a female president in 2017.

This is a very positive sign towards women efforts and achievements so far, But we still have along way to go.

It seems that progress is slow on the gender front, though it was less than 100 years ago that women first enjoyed the right to vote. But just what are women doing today?

While female competitiveness in the workplace seems to be on an upward trend, it still has not matched the income level of male counterparts. In politics, women have competed in presidential primaries and have yet to win the presidency. There is still a lot of women have to overcome even in a society which prides itself in ideals of equality. Yet perhaps more promising are women in the global world.

In the United Kingdom we have just witnessed the second era of women leadership after a very long period of time in one of the most democratic countries in the World, It’s still very slow but this is an indication that women leadership in different sectors will continue on a greater scale in future across the whole world. 

The voice of women in many parts of the world is emerging in a very powerful way, both to promote the individual expression of the female gender, and desperately needed education. If there is one thing women in politics have accomplished it is forming a collective voice, organizing in a way that is finally able to break the seemingly impenetrable barrier of male dominance, especially in changing political climates like that seen in the middle east.

Thus, women in politics mean a lot of things: in a broader aspect, it means giving women an incentive, providing women with the foundations of knowledge and education with which they are able to better combat inequality based upon gender. On the other hand, in terms of gender here at home, the task is somewhat different: it isn’t so much social convention which women need to overcome but merely the discrepancies in a system which is more prone towards embracing change when it is found necessary.

Women in the Middle East
Today, the plight of women is significantly improving in most Muslim countries which shows a significant move towards change. Perhaps thanks in part to international interests of the past decade; women are finding more freedom in societies whose male-dominated leadership have vested interest in the suppression of women. Burka laws are easing up in these countries, as Sharia law slowly loses its vice hold on the Muslim Middle East. Where, for instance, does one distinguish between religious criticism and promotion of women’s’ rights? It some times becomes a bit complicated to highlight women’s rights and above very strong religious beliefs that have been existing for centuries.

It seems like this line often becomes blurred, not solely because of the present theocracy in the Muslim world. Harder still is to argue against the fact that women themselves very often suggest that social restrictions are justified because of either cultural or religious mandates. However, there is a lot of effort to promote the role of women in employment and leadership in the Muslim world.

Allowing women in Saudi Arabia to start driving is one the biggest step taken in the history of fighting for women’s right.

Awareness is that, while we may still feel that there is still a very thick glass ceiling that patriarchy exists towards women recognition in our societies especially being considered for leadership roles, we cannot deny that progress has been made. Perhaps women in the workplace will soon match, and even overcome, income average earnings in the near future.

Women are the majority and in most cases, we are not using that to our advantage. In most cases, there will be some diverse reasons to why we lag behind compared to our male counterparts.
Women should work together to positively change the policies of our countries to better cater for us. Our societies have long been that of deeply entrenched patriarchy to an extent that some of our women see it as a normal thing to lag behind our male counterparts especially in employment and business.

Women should know that they have the same capability to perform on an equal level in these sectors like their male counterparts. We still have a very long way to go but with persistence and continuously highlighting women problems, at the same time building confidence in the young generation will eventually achieve effective change.

One week after the launch of the Amazons Watch Magazine’s Most-Impactful-Governor’s-Wife Poll, the wife of the Sokoto State Governor, Hajiya Mariya Tambuwal is taking the lead with 73.5% of the total votes cast.
The on-going online poll is part of the magazine’s strategic efforts to spur and encourage a more aggressive commitment and efforts on the part of the Wives of Nigerian State Governors towards improving the social, economic and political status of Nigerian women and the society at large.
Hajiya Tambuwal who makes an impact in the lives of the people of Sokoto state through the Foundation- Mariya Tambuwal Development Initiative (MTDI), is closely trailed in the poll by Dr. Zainab Bagudu of Kebbi State, with 11.8%; while the Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode is maintaining the third position with 10.3% of the votes cast, as at press time.
The “First Lady” is an informal and unconstitutional, but accepted title in Nigeria, held by the wife of the President and State Governors of Nigeria. They are the exemplification of grace, magnificence and influence, renowned as true partners of their spouses- the Governors’ visions, and role model of excellence for women in their respective states and in the nation.
Over the years, the activities of Wives of Nigerian State Governors have remarkably turned from the traditionally ceremonial role into a potent force for women and grass root development, promoting and protecting the rights of women, eliminating all forms of repugnant practices as well as violence against women and the enhancement of their living standards.
The poll is being organized with the aim of examining and shining the spotlight on the various impactful activities of the Wives of Governors of Nigeria’s 36 states.
The magazine nominated 12 Nigerian State First Ladies in the poll, using popularity, impact and sustainability as criteria. The other 9 nominees up for voting are: Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano of Anambra State; Mrs. Olufunso Amosun of Ogun State; Mrs. Rashida Bello of Kogi State; and Mrs Martha Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State.
Hajiya Ummi El Rufai of Kaduna State; Dr Lynda Ayade of Cross River State; Hon. JusticeEberechi Suzzette Wike of Rivers State; Mrs. Florence Ajimobi of Oyo State; and Mrs. Nkechi Okorocha of Imo State; are also on the list for voting.
The Governor’s Wife to emerge the winner in the poll will be featured in an exclusive and extensive interview to be included in a special edition that will be published and showcased at the margins of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly New York by September 2017 during the First Ladies on a Mission Forum.
In the same vein, the winner will be further celebrated with a Global Impact Award, in recognition of the visible impact and significant contributions to the well-being of women, as well as her selfless service to humanity:  while others to emerge among the Top 3, as well as the other nominees for the poll will also receive a commendation award.
Who will emerge winner? Click to vote.

Every parent wants a smart, bright and intelligent child. This desire sees us spending so much time and resources trying to find the best schools, teachers and learning environments for our kids. We sometimes forget that as parents, we have an important role to play, and the power to enhance our children’s learning potential by making books an integral part of their lives.

It is always an amazing experience to hear motivating stories from young women who despite the odds, have reached for the sky and grabbed their destinies with both hands. The story of SoleRebels Bethelehem Tilahun Alemu, is one that will not only inspire women who desire to go into different forms of handiwork, but will serve as one which all women can draw strength from in towing their various fields of endeavour.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has recruited its first female fighter pilots, paving the way for more women to be given combat roles as one of the world’s biggest military forces takes steps towards greater gender parity.

Flying Officers Mohana Singh, Bhawana Kanth and Avani Chaturvedi received their wings on Saturday when they were commissioned into the IAF at a graduation ceremony in the southern city of Hyderabad.