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HKE represented at ASSAf Young Scientists' Conference 2015

Date Released: Mon, 21 September 2015 13:36 +0200

Dr Janet Viljoen attended, as a presenter and session facilitator, representing Rhodes University and our department, Human Kinetics and Ergonomics.

The theme of the three day convention focussed on women in science, and the unique challenges faced by women, with specific relation to the context of Africa. Robust debate between delegates was had between thought-provoking talks by women leaders in science and allied fields.

Janet notes that it was the energetic engagement by delegates, coupled with the thoughtful commentary as well as the exceptionally challenging theme that made this particular conference very special. There are a dedicated corp of young scientists from across Africa who are passionate about education, equity, and the power of knowledge. What cannot be ignored, however, are the ongoing challenges facing women who choose an academic career (or any other career):as so succinctly stated by a delegate: “in 2015, that women face differing opportunities to male colleagues means that we are not yet civilised”.

Highlights of the conference included prestigious speakers including Ministers Naledi Pandor and Susan Shabangu, as well as Professor Amanda Weltman (SARCHi Chair, Physics, UCT) and Dr Valerie Manda who spoke about her experience of being one of the few women who volunteered to go to Sierra Leone when the Ebola crisis broke.