The Ibn Tofail University and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inaugurated, on Monday in Kenitra, the national section of Women in Nuclear Global (WIN), an international network of thousands of professionals from more than 100 countries , including women working in the nuclear business.
The inauguration of WIN Morocco, in cooperation with Women in Nuclear Global, took place during a two-day conference aimed at bringing together some fifty women from 17 African countries as well as experts in the field to share knowledge and best practices, empower women to increase gender parity and help African participants develop their own national sections of WIN.
In a statement, the conference president and professor specializing in nuclear physics at Ibn Tofail University, Oum Keltoum Hakam, said the event aims to exchange experiences, build partnerships and examine ways to to implement to improve the representation of women in nuclear matters at the African level.
Noting that the launch of WIN Morocco “is a step in the roadmap for the establishment of the WIN Africa Chapter”, Hakam explained that at the international level, women are underrepresented in the nuclear sector and many initiatives are being launched to address them. Nevertheless, statistics show that there has been significant progress in recent years, he noted, noting that the focus should be on establishing rules and procedures, strengthening education girls in science and technology, and changing perceptions about gender issues.
In the opinion of this expert, the creation of a national section of WIN will provide a forum for all women in the field to discuss nuclear issues, to make their voices heard and to give young women ways to succeed in their studies and professional life.
WIN Global President Gabriele Voigt, for her part, said she had discussions about the possibilities of setting up a regional chapter of Africa to bring together all the women practicing in the fields related to nuclear science in the countries of the world. Such an initiative is supported by the IAEA to promote sharing of ideas, networking, career development and professional success, he said.
On another note, the coordinator of the group of experts to the 1540 UN Committee, Raphaël Prenat, emphasized the importance of women’s expertise and the promotion of gender equality in charge of nuclear and non-proliferation issues.
Expressing pride in seeing parity materialize in the 1540 Committee where women have their place, the international expert stressed the need to promote a greater interest of women in non-proliferation issues so that in the long term, Africa has a resource of expertise, both female and male, that is up to the challenges.
WIN Global is a global non-profit association of women working in various fields of nuclear energy and radiation applications, with members from national and regional chapters from 109 countries. In the African region, there are currently two sections, namely those of Egypt and South Africa, plus the new WIN Morocco antenna.