Women for Science: Inclusion and Participation on Academies of Science

Academy of Science of South Africa (2016)

PLEASE CITE AS FOLLOWS: Academy of Science of South Africa (2016) ‘Women for Science: Inclusion and Participation on Academies of Science. A survey of the members of IAP: the Global Network of Science Academies’. http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11911/7.


Message by Professor Daya Reddy, President: Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf): Academies of science play a critical dual role. They recognise scientific excellence through election into their membership, eminent scientists in a nation; and mobilise their members to provide objective evidence-based science advice on issues of national, regional and global importance. For academies of science to successfully fulfil their mandate, the inclusion of both male and female members in their operations is of utmost importance. This report presents the first comprehensive survey of academies of science globally regarding women’s representation in membership, governance and academy activities. The survey findings show that there continues to be low representation of women in all areas stated above. The findings of this report and its recommendations should be used as a guideline for academies of science, globally, to develop strategies on increasing women’s participation in academy activities. It should also provide stimulus for action by IAP: The Global Network of Science Academies* and its member academies to collect and report gender-disaggregated data on an annual basis. The collection, analysis and reporting of gender-disaggregated data allows academies to introspect on their role as advocates for the increased participation of girls and women, not only within themselves but also in a nation’s science system. It also allows for increased discussions on the importance of applying the gender lens in the conceptualisation and implementation of academy activities, with a specific focus on their science advisory activities. The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) is honoured to have participated in the implementation of this global project. The Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), the Inter-American Network of Academies of Science (IANAS), and the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) are thanked for partnering with the Academy in carrying out this task.