Two new National Assessments of women in science and technology, and in particular the knowledge society — those of Nepal and Senegal — are now available on this website.
In Nepal, the government has been highly supportive of women’s rights and of programmes for women, with strong requirements for women in high office. The constitution guarantees rights of women and all marginalized groups, education is free up to the secondary school level, and there is a special tax exemption for women buying property to encourage land ownership by women. On the other hand, women in Nepal face numerous challenges – their rates of literacy remain low, their life expectancy is low and maternal mortality is high. Many girls are forced into early marriage and Sexual Gender-based Violence (SGBV) is prevalent. There is a large wage gap between men and women, and women spend long hours in unpaid work that is exacerbated by the high rate of the labour out-migration of Nepalese men. Patriarchal attitudes still prevail.
The Senegal study is available in both English and French. Like Nepal, Senegal also benefits from good policy and laws to support women. There is guaranteed representation of women in elective bodies and substantial progress in the education of girls gives much hope for their future. The challenges for women in Senegal include the high rate of women’s illiteracy, particularly among those aged 24 and older, and the low rates of women working in paid labour. Few women are found in decision-making positions. In unpaid labour, they have a heavy domestic workload. Their representation is very low in STI and the knowledge economy. Senegal scores low on women’s physical integrity – with both gender-based violence and female genital mutilation prevalent.
Authors of the Senegal study were Professor Fatou Sarr and Dr. Alpha Wade of the IFAN Gender and Scientific Research Laboratory at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar. Prof. Sarr is director of the laboratory.
The Nepal study was undertaken by the National Development Research Institute in Kathmandu, headed by Dr. Jaya Kumar Gurung. Prof. Dr. Punya Prasad Regmi was the research team leader. Dr. Manjeshwori Singh served as project coordinator.