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Science, women, and Sustainable Goals: OWSD's Spotlight at #InsiemepergliSDG in Trieste

November 16, 2023

The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) played a significant role in the #InsiemepergliSDG event held in Trieste, Italy, where the OWSD Secretariat is based. The event, part of a larger campaign initiated by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, aimed to highlight local initiatives contributing to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Trieste, with its international scientific hub, showcased the pivotal role of scientific research in achieving the SDGs.


Trieste, renowned for its commitment to multilateral scientific diplomacy, hosted the kick-off event, "Trieste: la scienza per l’Agenda 2030," on November 15, 2023, at the Salone degli Incanti, with many speakers sharing insights into how Trieste's scientific community contributes to the SDGs.

Notably, Tonya Blowers, the Coordinator of OWSD, delivered a compelling presentation emphasizing the crucial link between women in science and the achievement of SDGs.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, OWSD, headquartered in Trieste, has been instrumental in offering South to South doctoral fellowships to over 560 women, primarily from Africa. Blowers highlighted the essential role of women in addressing SDGs, as they often manage family well-being, nutrition, education, and environmental sustainability. Training women as scientists ensures that research and solutions are grounded in the daily challenges faced by communities.

The presentation showcased success stories of technologies and research developed by women scientists supported by OWSD, including Winfred Mulwa's innovative fridge for camel milk, Maryse Nkouva's solar panel technology benefiting a Congolese island, and Elizabeth Bandason's work in entomology to protect cabbage crops in Malawi. Blowers emphasized that empowering women in science leads to immediate and substantial impacts, addressing local challenges and contributing to broader community well-being.


Blowers concluded by underscoring OWSD's effectiveness, stemming from a membership of over 9,600 women scientists in developing countries. The organization's national chapters, now including newly established chapters in Burundi and Lesotho, serve as hubs for relevant, localized activities.

OWSD's participation in the #InsiemepergliSDG event in Trieste highlighted the critical role of women in science for sustainable development. By supporting women scientists from developing countries, OWSD contributes to the global effort to achieve the SDGs, fostering innovation, inclusivity, and positive change in communities worldwide.

The #InsiemepergliSDG event in Trieste witnessed the esteemed presence of numerous institutional authorities, underscoring the significance of the occasion. Notable figures included the Mayor of Trieste, Roberto Dipiazza, and Alessia Rosolen, the Regional Councillor for Labor, Training, Education, Research, University, and Family from the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region. These authorities, along with the President of Area Science Park, Caterina Petrillo, contributed to the event's richness by sharing insights on Trieste's commitment to scientific advancements aligned with the SDGs. The event reached its pinnacle with a visit from the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Edmondo Cirielli, who not only attended the gathering but also extended his visit to the Trieste-based institutions, TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences), InterAcademy Partnership: IAP, and OWSD. His presence and engagement reflected the Italian government's recognition of the crucial role played by these organizations in advancing scientific diplomacy and empowering women in science. During his visit, Vice Minister Cirielli graciously greeted the staff, acknowledging their dedication to fostering international collaboration and sustainable development.

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