Increasing the number of women in professional engineering in Africa and the Arab States is the subject of a workshop that will take place at UNESCO Headquarters on 10 December.
Organized by the International Gas Union (IGU) and UNESCO, the workshop will seek to identify the reasons for the under-representation of women in engineering and examine solutions to facilitate their access to an education and employment in this sector.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, and the President of IGU, Jérôme Ferrier, will open the workshop, which will feature two roundtable discussions: one on women in engineering in Africa (10.30 a.m. to 12.30 noon, and another on Women in engineering in the Arab States (2.30 p.m.—4.30 p.m.).
While young women only represent 7 to 12 % of engineering students in Africa, their percentage in North Africa and the Middle East is comparable, and in some cases higher, than in Europe and North America. In some Arab States, women account for more than half the engineering student population, 60% in Kuwait for example (according to World Bank figures). But the number of female engineering graduates who go on to work in engineering professions in the region declines considerably .
At the close of the workshop, a report will be made about the socio-economic, cultural and educational barriers that limit women’s access to engineering education in Africa and to employment in engineering in the Arab States.
Media contact médias: Agnès Bardon, UNESCO Press Service +33 (0) 1 45 68 17 64, a.bardon(at)unesco.org