Each year International Women’s Day is observed on 8 March. The day is marked with a worldwide celebration of women, as well as their economic, political and social achievements. The IAEA’s technical cooperation (TC) programme works to help women reach their goals and succeed in the field of nuclear science and technology.
Through the TC programme, the IAEA helps developing countries build human resource capacities in the application of nuclear science and technology in a wide range of areas, and thereby contributes to their socioeconomic development. Gender perspective is incorporated in all technical cooperation activities, which include training courses, workshops, symposia, conferences, scientific visits and fellowships. Female participation in the TC fellowship programme and other training activities increases women’s access to professional opportunities and education in science and technology, and supports gender equality in nuclear related fields.
Over the past six years, more than 16 600 female specialists have been trained through the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme in areas where nuclear technology is beneficial, including human health, food and nutrition, energy production, agriculture as well as environment and climate change. Between 2006 and 2012, the number of female fellows in the TC programme doubled. During this period, more than 40% of fellows coming from the Latin American and the Caribbean region were women. 34% of fellows from the Europe region and 28% of fellows from the Asia and the Pacific region were women. In Africa, female participation has remained at slightly over 20% for the past five years.
Women are under-represented in science and technology. Through the technical cooperation programme and fellowships, the IAEA aims to support the participation of women in these sectors and to encourage more women to pursue their interest in science and technology. This will contribute to increasing the number of female scientific experts in the future.