EMPOWERING women scientists from the Global South

8 March 2023: International Women’s Day. ICGEB is in Doha, Qatar at LDC5 for the Documentary Première EMPOWER Women Scientists from the Global South.

Together with the United Nations Office for South South Cooperation UNOSSC, ICGEB has launched a short video showcasing the story of five young women researchers who were awarded EMPOWER Fellowships – a South-South cooperation initiative for women scientists from developing countries, particularly from the LDCs who received training and mentoring at ICGEB labs in Cape Town and New Delhi.

The Premiere of the Documentary Video and an Interactive Dialogue was held in the SDG Media Zone

UNOSSC, in partnership with the ICGEB, supported the “EMPOWER Fellowship” to support capacity development of young women scientists from developing countries, with priorities given the nationals of the LDCs. It aimed to provide training, mentorships, and peer learning opportunities through South-South cooperation to enhance their research capacities, with a view to fostering gender balanced STI communities in the global South.

Five young women scientists from Bangladesh, Colombia, DR Congo, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe were selected, as the pilot cohort. The five fellows were hosted at ICGEB Labs in India and South Africa in 2022. They received training to apply the latest techniques and methodologies in their research, and were provided mentoring on complementary skills, as well as opportunities to be immersed in a top class international scientific environment.  A 20-minute documentary video, and 5 one-minute social media campaign videos, have been developed to document the 6-month life changing experience of the five fellows.

In order to support countries in achieving the SDGs, investing in women and girls in science, technology and innovation (STI) in the LDCs is imperative. UN and countries can support this endeavor through South-South cooperation.

In commemoration of International Women’s Day, UNOSSC and ICGEB are organising an interactive dialogue among senior women representatives from the UN system and young women scientists from LDCs. A special documentary series featuring 5 young women scientists’ journey will be premiered at the interactive dialogue.

The “EMPOWER Fellowship” programme was jointly launched by United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and the ICGEB, with funding support from the Zayed International Foundation for the Environment of the UAE.

Ms. Marianna Maculan, Chief, External Relations, ICGEB MCed the session, with speakers including:

  • Her Excellency Dr. Agnes Mary Chimbiri-Molande, Permanent Representative of Malawi to the United Nations
  • Ms. Dima Al-Khatib, Director, UNOSSC
  • Mr. Lawrence Banks, DG, ICGEB
  • Ms. Najneen Rejwana, EMPOWER Fellow

with Special Commentator following the Premiere of the Documentary:

Ms. Laila Baker, Regional Director, UNFPA Arab States Regional Office