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International Women’s Day: Supporting Women Through the Technical Cooperation Programme

5 March 2015
Each year International Women’s Day is observed on 8 March. The day represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women. 
The IAEA’s technical cooperation programme works to help women reach their goals and succeed in the field of nuclear science and technology. Gender is considered in all technical cooperation activities, which include training courses, symposia, conferences, scientific visits and fellowships.Women are encouraged to participate as fellows in the IAEA’s TC programme. This increases women’s access to professional opportunities and education in science and technology, and supports gender equality in nuclear related fields. Over the last decade, approximately 33% of all fellows were female. Over 3500 women have enhanced their skills through TC fellowships during this time. “I have learnt a lot of things and applied them in my country. Using the techniques I learnt at the IAEA, I can do a project for drought resistant crops.” 
M.D Kalpage<br>
Scientific Officer<br>
Sri Lanka<br>
IAEA fellow 
“To accelerate and sustain development, it is essential to promote women in science and technology in general and nuclear in particular.” 
Zeinabou Mindaoudou Souley <br>
National Project Counterpart <br>
Niger “During my fellowship, I learned modern isotope techniques that can be used to help solve problems in our countries related to drought, water shortage, soil and water salinity or soil erosion. I was able to discuss these problems with other fellows and find out what others do in their countries to address them. Now, when I go back to my country, not only will I be able to apply the techniques I learned from the IAEA lecturers, but also use the lessons learned from other fellows.” 
IAEA fellow <br>
PhilippinesIn 2013, 4049 women participated in the TC programme. Pictured here is a training course participant learning about advanced plant breeding techniques to enhance crop productivity and adaptability to climate change. In 2014, 19 women received support from the IAEA’s TC programme to attend the 22nd WiN Global Conference in Sydney, Australia. 
“During my participation in WiN 2014 in Australia I have had the opportunity to meet many colleagues who work in the nuclear area. The contact with these kind and smart women and the information that I have received from them have been very important, motivating and relevant because I could learn about the different applications that nuclear technology has in very important areas.” 
Estela Mayoral Villa, 
Mexico Through technical cooperation projects, women are also empowered as end-users and beneficiaries. 
One example is Maasai women in Kenya, who tend to the fields while the men are searching for grazing land. Here farmers benefitted from the development of drip irrigation systems to save water and help crop yields The IAEA has been working with El Salvador on the treatment of cervical cancer since 1997. Much time and effort has been spent in laying the groundwork for the establishment of a radiotherapy programme. With assistance from the IAEA, the Instituto de Cancer de El Salvador is now capable of treating cervical cancer on an outpatient basis.
The thousands of women who can now receive cervical cancer treatment in El Salvador are proof of the impact that IAEA projects can have for women in developing countries.


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