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South Africa presents awards to women in science

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The South African government's Women in Science Awards (WISA) are going to be presented in Pretoria on 24 August 2012. These awards have been presented in the National Women’s Month each year since 2003. They reward special achievements by women in science and research.

The objectives of the awards are to help make female scientists and researchers more visible and to emphasise their important function as role models for young women. The awards are also designed to draw attention to the persistently low number of women working in science and research.

The awards are presented in different categories and include the "Award for Outstanding Women", the "Award for Outstanding Young Women" and three additional awards for excellent scientific work in relation to this year's theme, "Using science and technology to support women in rural areas and bring poverty to an end". The awards also include a scholarship for outstanding young scientists. The Women in Science Awards are presented by the South African Department of Science and Technology – DST).

The award winners will be honoured at a gala dinner attended by South Africa's Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor. Together with the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the DST supports and sponsors bilateral projects promoting research and innovation within the framework of the German-South African Science Year 2012/2013. These include, for example, a three-day conference entitled "Women in Science – Promoting Excellence and Innovation for Future Development". To pay tribute to the fruitful cooperation between the two countries specifically in the field of women and science, the BMBF is facilitating the participation of the German project coordinator, Dr. Britta Thege from the Institute of Interdisciplinary Gender Research und Diversity at Kiel University of Applied Sciences. Dr. Thege will be guest speaker at the awards ceremony in Johannesburg.

In August, as a fitting accompaniment to the Women in Science awards ceremony, "Human Capital Development" is also theme of the month in the German-South African Science Year 2012/2013. Human capital development is concerned with areas such as education, lifelong learning and gender mainstreaming, but also with challenges such as the exodus of qualified specialists and the combating of unemployment.

Find out more about the Women in Science Awards in our Media Library.