L’Oréal-UNESCO ‘For Women in Science’ program, honors Female Scientists from the Levant Region

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The 6th edition of the L’Oréal-UNESCO “For Women in Science” Levant regional ceremony was held yesterday, September 19th 2019, to celebrate six promising scientists, from Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Palestine, for their contribution and  commitment to scientific research.  The event was held at the American University of Beirut under the patronage of the President of the Council of Ministers, His Excellency Mr. Saad Hariri and was attended by over 200 lawmakers, high-ranking diplomats, as well as representatives of academic and scientific institutions, NGOs and media.

FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE: A MORE THAN 20-YEAR COMMITMENT

In the domain of scientific research, the glass ceiling is still a reality: only 28% of researchers are women, 11% of senior academic roles are held by women, and only 3% of Nobel Prizes for science have been awarded to women.

Since 1998, the L’Oréal Foundation, in partnership with UNESCO, has worked to improve the representation of women in scientific careers, remaining strong in our conviction that the world needs science, and science needs women.

In its 21 years, the For Women in Science program supported and raised the profile of 107 laureates and more than 3,100 talented young scientists, both doctoral and post-doctoral candidates, providing research fellowships, allocated annually in 117 countries.

 

During the regional ceremony of the Levant Fellowships Program, Minister of State for Economic Empowerment of Women and Youth, Violette Khairallah Safadi, delivered a speech on behalf of His Excellency Prime Minister Saad Hariri, whereby she called on women “to take their seats and engage in serious work for the aim of finding solutions to all the problems faced by our societies.” The minister uttered belief in women’s “ability to act as beacons by means of productivity and giving, in every Arab country eclipsed by the dark shadows of war, fighting, and conflicts.”

 

THE LEVANT REGIONAL FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM

The L’Oréal-UNESCO “For Women In Science” Levant Fellowships Program,   launched in 2014 in partnership with the National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Lebanon, aims to promote and empower Arab women scientists from Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Palestine, and to acknowledge their crucial role in the development of the region.

The presence of women in public, political and economic spheres has progressed considerably over these last few years. However, this is not the case in the world of science. Our ambition is to give women the place they deserve in science, so people would no longer believe that scientific and technical progress could be made without women”, said Philippe Patsalides, Managing Director of L’Oréal Levant. It is inconceivable that we should deprive ourselves of the talents of half of humanity”, he concluded.

Each year, the Levant program awards three talented PhD students and three post-doctoral researchers, for the quality of their research work. Each fellow receives a grant to help them undertake research in their chosen fields and encourages them to pursue a brilliant career in science in the Levant countries.

Dr. Mouin Hamzé, Secretary General of the National Council for Scientific Research-Lebanon and President of the jury, said: “I applaud the accomplishments of the fellows of the 2019 edition. The advanced research capabilities that they displayed continue to astonish jury members, year after year. From nanotechnology to artificial intelligence, to genetic engineering, they have excelled in their research proving, once again, that women advance science, and science advances the world”

 

THE 2019 FELLOWS: EXCEPTIONAL WOMEN IN SCIENCE

Six promising female scientists were selected among more than 100 candidates this year. They are role models for young scientists and putting them in the spotlight ensures a bright future for science.

 

 

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