Increasing science literacy among women in Africa

There are more than 50 male professors at the University of Botswana in Gaborone, and fewer female professors than you can count on one hand. This statistic is one that bothers analytical chemist Harriet Okatch, who has been teaching and carrying out research at the university for the past six years. But through a US-based organization called COACh, operating out of the University of Oregon, she hopes to work with a growing network of chemists across Africa to solve some of these resource problems and empower other women to progress in science careers.

“When we were in Tunisia in March we ran several workshops,” said Geri Richmond, University of Oregon Presidential Chair of Science and professor of chemistry. “In April, they ran the workshops again with local Tunisian women scientists, and they had over 160 women show up, standing room only, and [they are] begging for them to do more.”

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