In a bid to highlight the importance of fighting gender bias the 11th February each year marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. In line with this thinking, 2016 eThekwini Living Legend, and Minister of Science & Technology, Naledi Pandor, recently announced the establishment of 42 new chairs reserved for women applicants at research institutions across the country. The newly appointed chairs come from areas of research ranging from pediatric tuberculosis, to childhood sexuality and indigenous medicinal plants. The researchers will each receive up to R2.5 million per year to perform their work.
The initiative, which forms part of the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI), aims to tackle the problem of the wide gender imbalance that is common in the upper-level tiers of science: eighty percent of the 155 positions granted under SARChI so far have been awarded to male researchers.
Minister Pandor hopes the appointment of the new chairs will help to balance the scales.
Image courtesy of www.itweb.co.za