AfAS establishes African Network of Women in Astronomy to improve status of women in science

African Network of Women in Astronomy (AfNWA) has been established under the Astronomical Society (AfAS). It was established in September 2020 as one of the committees under AfAS.

African Network of Women in Astronomy (AfNWA) has been established under the African Astronomical Society (AfAS). It was established in September 2020 as one of the committees under AfAS.

Astronomy and space sciences are experiencing significant growth in Africa. For the benefit of all, AfNWA initiative would guarantee female participation at all level of these new and important developments, according to the statement released by AfAS. Currently, in most countries, the number of female researchers is less than 30%, according to the UNESCO 2019 Women in Science report.

AfNWA aims to guarantee future participation of girls and women at all levels in astronomy and science developments in Africa. Its main objectives include improving the status of women in science in Africa and using astronomy to inspire more girls to do STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

AfNWA is supported by the South African Department of Science and Innovation through the support given to the African Astronomical Society and the Nature Research and Estée Lauder through the Mirjana Pović’s inaugural 2018 Nature Research Award for Inspiring Science.

The AfNWA team comprises of Mirjana Pović, an assistant professor at Ethiopian Space Science and Technology Institute; Vanessa McBride, an astronomer at the Office of Astronomy for Development, International Astronomical Union, South Africa; Priscilla Muheki, an assistant lecturer at Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda; Carolina Ödman-Govender, a professor at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa; Somaya Saad, a professor at the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics, Egypt; and Nana Ama Brown Klutse, a researcher at the University of Ghana.

AfNWA objectives, however, cannot be achieved without the full support of society. If you agree with AfNWA vision and would like to support it, please consider joining the Network. Fill the membership form here.

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