Gender-based assessment of Science, Technology and Innovations ecosystem in Sudan

Science, Technology and Innovations (STI) play a critical role in each of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Despite several STI initiatives to ensure achievement of the 5th Sustainable Development goal on gender equality, the participation of women in STI has remained low all over the world in general but particularly in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where women are greatly underrepresented in STI ecosystem. In Sudan, there are Policies and Strategies for STI in the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research but there is no mention of gender or gender equity as separate issues. The female students at Sudanese higher education institutions form the majority (55%) of enrolment at undergraduate level and in some cases reaching 70-80% as in Agriculture and Medical fields, while enrolment of female in Science, Engineering and Mathematics is less than 23%. The numbers of females at universities and research institutes decrease in high seniority levels, with only 15 female professors out of 95 professors in research institutes in 2017. In Sudanese universities there is only one female professor in engineering in the academic year 2017/2018, while in the broader science fields there are only six female professors out of 53 professors. The women involvement in decision making in academia and industry is negligible, and overall women scientists involved in leadership and their participation in research and development is low. There are only three women Vice Chancellors out of 133 university Vice Chancellors. According to the new constitution representation of women must increase to 40% of government workforce as a general policy. The financial support of STI research in Sudan depends mainly on the public sector (more than 95%) compared to a very low contribution from the private sector. Nowadays, there are new policies at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research for partnership with the private sector by using the infrastructure of industrial companies for some STI initiatives. The overall findings from this study indicate that in Sudan the gender participation in STI issues are not well emphasized in policies and strategies of STI. However, there are some initiatives through non-governmental organization such as Sudanese Women in Science Organization and STEM Girls’ clubs project to stimulate and enhance women participation in STI programs.
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East Africa
North Africa
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