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The 10th Conference of Women Leaders in Science, Technology, and Engineering, titled “Science Empowers Women”


 Under the patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al- Ahmad Al-Sabah, the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS) will host the 10th edition of the Conference of Women Leaders in Science, Technology, and Engineering on October 23-25. The 10th edition of the conference will be under the title “Science Empowers Women” and will take place at the headquarters of The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development in Kuwait City.

Professor Faiza Al-Kharafi, Head of conference’s higher committee and board member of KFAS, said: “His Highness the Amir’s patronage reflects the country’s appreciation of women’s achievements in the fields of science, technology, and engineering, and comes as an encouragement for them to achieve more successes”.

Professor Al- Kharafi stated that “The conference comes as a result of KFAS’ and the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) memorandum of understanding which was signed in January 2016, to support and strengthen the shared efforts of the two associations for dissemination of scientific knowledge,” Said Professor Al-Kharafi, adding “We hold this conference based on our understanding of the role of science as a key driver of knowledge based economy and in advancing the well-being of the societies all around the world.”

Under the framework of the memorandum of understanding, the AAAS, and the US State Department science advisor, and US embassy in Kuwait requested to host the 10th anniversary of Conference of Women Leaders in Science, Technology, and Engineering, which was held in Kuwait in 2007 in collaboration with Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, with agreement that the celebration of the 10th edition will be held in Kuwait in 2017.

Professor Al-Kharafi also pointed to the fact that the conference will be convened this year to promote international scientific cooperation and development of inter-cultural networks for the purpose of achieving the following goals:

1- Commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Conference of Women Leaders in Science, Technology, and Engineering; as well as celebration of women leaders in science – locally, regionally, and internationally.

2- Empowering careers of women from various backgrounds of science, technology, engineering disciplines, through presenting their success stories; showcasing the careers of the most prominent female scientists from Arab countries and the entire world, and how their scientific contribution and output was reflected in the performance of their organisations; as well as the shift in activities and products they created which in turn had an impact on their national economies.

3- Building capacities of up-and-coming female professionals engaging in science, technology, and engineering disciplines, through establishing a network to communicate and exchange knowledge; and increase participate in the scientific output.

4- Encouraging young Kuwaiti female youths to engage in science, technology, and engineering fields, to pave the way for their success and excellence in the future; even when they choose non-academic or non-research careers.

The conference will be attended by women scientific figures who assumed higher posts in academia, governments, corporations, and industrial sectors. Women leaders, guests, and participants relating to the field were invited from Kuwait, the GCC and Arab countries, as well as regional global players who are engaged in academia and research and governmental institutions in Asia and Europe, in order to create an interactive forum between women from these disciplines, and establishing a platform to build their capacities.

The conference aims to reach several outcomes including fostering international scientific cooperation, and the development of regional and global networks, through which Kuwait will be at its core. The participants will also present models to encourage young female professionals – In Kuwait and the region – to follow their careers in science, technology, and engineering, and paving the way for them to reach their aspirations on achieving scientific excellence.

Al-Kharafi concluded “Our hope is for young female scientists to be role models for young females all around the region, and a source of motivation for them to engage in science, technology, and engineering”.

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