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IAEA Supports WiN Africa to Reach More African Women in the Nuclear Field


The WiN Global Conference brought together women working in the nuclear field from across the globe (Photo: IAEA)

By encouraging professional women to network and participate in lifelong learning, the IAEA is helping to address the lack of trained professionals in the nuclear field in Africa. Women in Nuclear (WiN), a non-profit organization that advocates for women in the nuclear field, is playing an important role in this endeavour. In 2023, the IAEA helped to advance the work of the WiN chapter in Africa, providing support for its efforts to expand and reach new audiences. Thanks to new national chapters and increased outreach efforts, WiN Africa is now supporting more African women working in nuclear science and technology, with a particular focus on helping early career professionals succeed in the nuclear field.  

“We need to foster gender inclusivity in the nuclear sector in Africa — women constitute a key human resource for the continent. It is important that we create a supportive environment for the next generation of nuclear professionals by providing them with development opportunities and giving them a seat at the table,” said Shaukat Abdulrazak, Director of the IAEA Department of Technical Cooperation’s Division for Africa.  

In July 2022, the IAEA organized a mentoring workshop in coordination with WiN to support female early career professionals in Africa. Thirty-five young women from 29 Member States in Africa worked to plan their potential career paths within the nuclear field during the three-day workshop. Through nuclear site visits, presentations on regional success stories and sessions on career development, participants were able to identify opportunities for their advancement.  

“The broad outreach and inclusive nature of WiN is attracting more girls and women to be involved in the nuclear field in Africa,” said WiN Africa President Soheir Korraa. 

In November 2023, the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme also sponsored the participation of 53 young women in the WiN Global Conference in Egypt, including 46 women from Africa. The WiN Global conference featured sessions on a wide variety of topics from dosimetry and isotope production to 3D printing and the industrial applications of nuclear technology. It also gave national chapters an opportunity to take stock of their efforts with a particular focus on ensuring the long-term sustainability of activities.  

“Attending the WiN Global Conference 2023 and participating in the WiN Africa Annual Meeting gave me an opportunity to showcase what Zambia was working on in order enhance women’s participation in nuclear science and technology,” said Melody Mwewa Nsofwa from the Radiation Protection Authority of Zambia. “It also further provided a platform for me to learn about mentorship, and I have used this training to develop a mentorship programme for the young scientists in my local communities and universities,” Nsofwa added. 

During the WiN Global Conference, the IAEA organized the first annual meeting of WiN Africa to facilitate regional cooperation. Fifteen Presidents of WiN national chapters came together at the meeting to report on achievements and coordinate future activities.  

"Collaboration and alliances play a critical role in advancing nuclear initiatives in Africa, marking a significant step towards sustainable development and regional progress,” said WiN Global President Dominique Mouillot at the WiN Global Conference.  

Increased coordination is particularly important considering that the total number of national WiN chapters in Africa has increased to 19 — more than that of any other region. In support of this, a new website was launched to help keep the growing number of WiN Africa national chapters connected.  

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