International Workshop on Empowerment of Women Through Science and Technology Interventions

To become leaders in science and technology, the developing countries need to draw upon the talents from all sections of society, including the women with special interest and aptitude in science.


14-16 DECEMBER 2008

Women are key for a nation’s ability to innovate and their socio-economic status is one of the strategic indicators of a country’s development. However, an analysis of the UN’s Gender-related Development Index (GDI) shows major differences between men and women in the areas of education, health and quality of life and there are glaring gaps between the targets set by countries for women’s empowerment and the true social, educational and economic status of women. Women are often the most marginalized in the developing countries, facing several kind of discrimination. Even when they are able to organize themselves, they lack negotiating power. Despite considerable improvement in women’s education over the last few decades, they continue to remain highly under-represented in many areas, particularly in the fields of science and technology. Due to the lack of participation of women in these fields almost half of the human brain pool is wasted, thereby affecting the economy of the countries. One of the eight UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targeted to be achieved by 2015 is to promote gender equality and empower women.

Trends towards a market economy in the new era of globalization have widened the gap between education and technology opportunities for men and women. According to UNESCO Bulletin on S&T Statistics, women represent less than 30% of researchers in the world, and this share is much less for Asia (15%), South Asia (12%) and India (10%). At the same time, wherever programmes have been conscientiously designed keeping in mind the specific needs and potential of women, new opportunities for women’s empowerment have been generated and in the era of new technology and knowledge society, women are slowly and steadily embracing the knowledge.
Women’s leadership is a crucial element in development and the expansion of women’s capabilities not only enhances women’s own freedom and well-being, but also has beneficial effects on society as a whole. Gender issues need to be integrated with the larger perspectives of reforms and there is a need to recognize women as stakeholders. To become leaders in science and technology, the developing countries need to draw upon the talents from all sections of society, including the women with special interest and aptitude in science. However, several factors affect women scientists’ career progress. These include absence of role models and mentors, lack of access to information and support facilities, social bias and family responsibilities. Women scientists can overcome many of these hurdles by understanding their effects and learning appropriate skills to deal with them. An important mechanism through which S&T can play a major role in empowering women is imparting skills and vocational training to the women for self-employment and establishment of micro-enterprises through S&T inputs and initiating specially designed developmental programmes suitable for women belonging to the economically weaker sections of the society and rural areas.

To deliberate on the urgent need for capacity building for women in order to economically empower them, the Centre for Science & Technology of the Non-Aligned and Other Developing Countries (NAM S&T Centre) is organizing a 3-days International Workshop on Empowerment of Women through Science & Technology Interventions from 14-16 December 2008 at Tehran, Iran jointly with Iranian Research Organization for Science & Technology (IROST), Ministry of Science, Research & Technology, Tehran and Iranian Association of Women’s Studies (IAWS), Tehran.

Objectives of the Workshop
- To identify the areas of weaknesses, obstacles and challenges to economic empowerment of women in the developing countries
- To have an understanding of the use of science and technology for the economic empowerment of women
- To study the present status of women empowerment and the participation of women in S&T related activities in the developing countries
- To prepare the guidelines for a comprehensive framework to enhance the contribution of women in building knowledge society
- To identify various mechanisms suitable for women empowerment through S&T interventions
- To recommend schemes and programmes including training courses on S&T suitable for economic empowerment of women in the developing countries
- To identify the policy initiatives required to be taken by the developing countries for empowerment of women through S&T interventions
- To facilitate international cooperation and networking on women S&T issues

Tentative Programme of the Workshop
The International Workshop will be held during 14-16 December 2008. The session wise programme would be sent to the participants in due course:

About NAM S&T Centre
The Centre for Science and Technology of the Non-Aligned and Other Developing Countries (NAM S&T Centre; is an inter-governmental organization with a membership of 44 countries spread over Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America. The Centre was set up in 1989 in New Delhi, India in pursuance of recommendations of various NAM Summit meetings for the promotion of South-South and North-South cooperation in science and technology. The Centre undertakes a variety of programmes, including organization of workshops, symposiums, meetings and training courses and implementation of collaborative projects and offers short-term research fellowships to the scientists from the developing countries in association with various Centres of Excellence. The Centre also brings out technical books and other scientific publications in different subjects. These activities provide opportunity for scientist–to–scientist contact and interaction; familiarizing participants on the latest developments and techniques in the subject areas; identification of the requirements of training and expert assistance; locating technologies for transfer between the members and other developing countries, dissemination of S&T information etc. The Centre also encourages academic-research-industry interaction in the developing countries through its NAM S&T-Industry Network.

Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST; was approved and ratified by Revolutionary Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1980.The IROST is a comprehensive science policy research center directly attached to the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology. IROST as the biggest research center in Iran is chiefly engaged in development of strategies, policies, R&D systems, management, foresight and evaluation of related Science and Technology (S&T) development and S&T for economic progress. Through these studies, IROST offers policy recommendations for decision-making in development of national S&T, development and related society as a whole. IROST undertakes commissioned research from the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology or organizations at home and abroad including involving technical cooperation with International Organizations. The goals of IROST are:
- Spreading awareness about the potential opportunities in Space, Technology, Science, Biotechnology, Green Chemistry Technology, Nanotechnology, New and Renewal Energy and Environment Friendly Technology
- Training and support for Development of Technology by the entrepreneurial community
- Outlining a set of incentives and guidelines for the industries at national level to attract investment in the field of new technologies
- Facilitating and supporting technology commercialization
- Facilitating and supporting Technology Transfer
- Implementing pilot-plants projects in various important technologies
- Establishing " National Science and Technology Museum " (NSTM)
- Establishing entrepreneurship office for supporting entrepreneurs
- Establishing scientific network for facilitating connection of universities, research institutes, scientific databank with powerful and unique Internet system
- Organizing Khwarizmi International Award annually and supporting other national innovation awards

About IAWS
Iranian Association for Women’s Studies is a nonprofit scientific association with following goals and objectives:
- To raise women’s awareness and knowledge in different related areas
- Empowering women for applied researches
- Organizing conferences, seminars and workshops in national, regional and international level
- Scientific co-operations with similar institute in national, regional and international level

This workshop has been primarily designed for the government policy makers and representatives of women study groups, academic institutions and non-governmental organizations dealing with the development and welfare of women engaged in activities related to the role of S&T for women empowerment in the developing countries. The selection of the participants will be strictly based on merit and the quality of the extended abstract of presentation material to be submitted along with the completed nomination form. A pre-condition for participation in the workshop is that the participants must submit the full manuscript of their presentation material at least a fortnight before the commencement of the workshop.

The international workshop will be organized at Tehran, Iran.

Resource Persons
Resource persons for the workshop will comprise eminent experts from Iran, India and other countries.

Submission of Nominations
Applications for participation (excepting those from Iran) are required to be submitted in the prescribed form to the NAM S&T Centre as early as possible but latest by 15th November 2008. The form should be completed in all respects and no column should be left blank. Iranian scientists should send their applications directly to the Iranian organizers at Tehran.
The submitted application should contain an extended abstract of the presentation to be made in the workshop.

Presentation of Paper
Each selected participant will be required to present a country status report and/or a research/ scientific paper on any of the themes appropriate to the workshop.

Publication of Proceedings
The country status reports, scientific/research papers and other study material presented during the training workshop will be compiled along with the learned articles form other authors and will be brought out in the form of a publication. All applicants are required to submit the extended abstracts of their proposed presentations to be made during the workshop along with the completed nomination form. Those finally selected to attend the workshop will be required to submit the full manuscript of their papers/country reports as per the Centre’s prescribed guidelines at least 15 days before the commencement of the workshop i.e. by 1st December 2008.

Local Hospitality, travel etc. within Iran
All foreign participants will be received at the Tehran international airport and will be transported to the venue of the workshop. Local hospitality, including accommodation, meals and local transport during 13th December to 17th December 2008 (i.e. commencing from one day before the workshop and for an additional day after its conclusion) will be arranged by the IROST/IAWS, Iran. The participants will have to make their own arrangement of stay beyond these days and therefore they should arrange their flight schedules accordingly.

Financial Arrangements for Travel
This is being conveyed separately to each member country of the NAM S&T Centre and other developing countries.

Entry Formalities, Immigration and Health
Participants of the workshop must be in possession of a current passport and valid visa for entry into Iran. The embassies / diplomatic mission of Iran located in the country of the participants should be approached for obtaining an entry visa. If required, IROST/IAWS, Iran will facilitate the issuance of a visa by providing the participants with an official letter of invitation.
Participants of the workshop from yellow fever endemic countries must ensure that they obtain a Vaccination Certificate before arrival in Iran.

About Tehran and Its Surroundings
Covering an area of 1500 sq. km, Tehran is situated in the north-central part of Iran, on the slope of the Alborz Mountain. As the national capital it is the most populated city in Iran and the centre of cultural, economical, political and social activities. It is about 1200 meters above sea level and enjoys a mild climate. The Peacock Throne of the Persian Shahs can be found in Tehran's Golestan Palace. Some of the important museums are National Museum of Iran, Sa'dabad Palaces Complex, Glassware and Ceramics Museum of Iran, The Carpet Museum of Iran, Tehran's Underglass painting Museum, and Niavaran Palace Complex.

The Iranian currency is Rials, 10 Rials = 1 Toman
Each US dollar ≈ Rls 9200

People and Culture:
The population of Iran is 65 million, the major religion is Islam, and the major language is Persian. Iran's population is made up of numerous ethnic groups, the Persian being the largest. Culture of Iran is reflected in the aesthetic thinking of the Iranian inhabitants, which finds reflection in the mosaic paintings of Bishapur and Achaemenid reliefs in Persepolis.

Other Useful Information
Standard Time: 03:30 hours ahead of GMT (between 24th September up to 24th December)
Voltage: 220 volts 50 Hz
International Dialing code: +98
Internet Domain: ir

* According to the law importing and use of alcoholic drinks are prohibited.
* Individual participants or their governments / institutions will be required to bear the following costs:
- All expenses in the home country incidental to travel abroad, including expenditure for passport and visa, required medical examinations and vaccinations and miscellaneous expenses such as internal travel to/from the airport of departure in the home country.
- Salary and other related allowances for the participants during the event.
- Cost of medical insurance to cover the period of their participation in the

- The organizers will not assume responsibility for the following expenditure in connection with the participant’s attendance in the Workshop:
- Insurance, medical bills or hospitalisation fees.
- Compensation in the event of death, disability or illness of participants.
- Loss of personal belongings or compensation for damage caused by climatic or other conditions.
- Travel or other costs incurred by the dependents that might accompany the participants, or because of overstay.

Contact Details

Prof. Arun P. Kulshreshtha,
Centre for Science & Technology of the Non-Aligned and other Developing Countries (NAM S&T Centre),
Zone-6A, 2ndFloor, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road,
New Delhi – 110003, INDIA
Tel: +91-11-24645134, 24644974; Fax: +91-11-24644973
E-mail: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Mr. M. Bandyopadhyay,
Senior Expert & Administrative Officer
Address, Tel. and E-mail: (O) as above. Tel. (R) 91-11-29941203

Dr. M. Molanejad,
Director of International Cooperation,
No. 71 Forsat Street, Enghelab Avenue, P.O. Box. 15815 3538,
Tehran 16919 , IRAN
Tel: +98-21 8 828051/7; Fax: +98-21-8824241
E-mail: [email protected]

Dr. Nasrin Mosaffa,
Head of Iranian Association for Women’s Studies (IAWS)
Tehran, IRAN
E-mail: [email protected]

Dr. Akram Ghadimi,
Member, Faculty of National Research Institute for Science Policy (NRISP),
Tehran, IRAN
E-mail: [email protected]

In order to avoid confusion, interested scientists from countries other than Iran may in the first instance please correspond only with the NAM S&T Centre, and not with IROST/IAWS, Tehran. All such applications will be initially processed by the NAM S&T Centre.
Scientists from Iran may however submit their requests to the IROST/IAWS.


International Workshop on Empowerment of Women Through Science and Technology Interventions
14-16 December 2008
Tehran, Iran

From 14 Dec 2008
Until 16 Dec 2008
Tehran, Iran
News topics: