Introduction

The empowerment of women entails a qualitative and quantitative improvement in educational, training and engagement opportunities offered. It also involves promoting higher profile for women in the socio-economic development of their societies.

Therefore, it engages Arab S&T Women in all activities and develops their technical skills in order to strengthen their role on regional and international levels. This is reflected in all ASTF programs and activities including Funded Research, Collaborative Projects, Networks, Technopreneur Program, Technology Competitions, and Conferences. Despite so, their participation in our activities (representing global Arab situation) compared to Arab S&T Men is 15% and 7% in R&D and Business Development activities, respectively. This indicates that further effort is needed to encourage Women involvement in a way that allows better representation allowing creativity and innovation.

In the latest Arab S&T biggest conference, SRO4, participants emphasized the need to establish a coordination effort between existing programs and entities related to Arab S&T women. Comprehensive initiatives towards women scientists should be designed and implemented.

ASTF is proposing the below initiative towards empowering Arab S&T Women. It capitalizes on available efforts in the Arab region and stream line them for best achieving development goals. The initiative comes in three phases over three years:

  • Phase One: Setting up the Structure (Year 2008)
  • Phase Two: Reinforce S&T Women (Year 2009)
  • Phase Three: Launching of Further Programs (Year 2010)

Initiative entails many projects and activities. Each come with clear aims and deliverables, yet all complement each other for the achievement of the objectives of the initiative.