Women have been historically underrepresented in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) professions worldwide; however, the situation is unpleasant in Africa. According to estimates by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, women represent less than 30% of the research workforce worldwide. The underrepresentation of women in STEM translates into a loss of a critical mass of talent, thoughts and ideas, which hinders countries from reaching their maximum development potential. Socio-economic factors, the masculine image of science, lack of mentoring, role models and confidence in mathematics are some of the factors contributing to the underrepresentation of women in STEM.
Despite improvements over the past decades, South African women continue to be underrepresented in tertiary studies and professional careers in the field of mathematical sciences. SAWMSA was established in 2017 to address this deficit, provide support to women in mathematics and promote mathematics among young girls and women in South Africa while stimulating interest among young girls to pursue careers in mathematical sciences.
Organize and provide platforms for women in mathematics to share their mathematics research in meetings and seminars
Encourage and support other South African mathematical activities considered likely to contribute to the development of mathematical sciences in any of its aspects, pure, applied, or educational;
Bring together mathematicians from all over South Africa to think about and discuss gender issues in mathematics, its challenges, initiatives, and perspectives for the future;
Generate activities and programmes meant to encourage women to study and establish careers in the mathematical sciences;
Provide support and mentoring by linking up young South African women researchers in mathematics with suitable mentors in their area of specialization.
Carry out or transact any act, scheme or enterprise identified as furthering the objectives of the SAWMSA.
Secure funding for bursaries from big enterprises and industry and maintain a database of funding opportunities to support South African women to further their education in the mathematical sciences.
Be a women working, or previously worked, professionally in or for South Africa in the fields of mathematical or related sciences, or hold a B Tech diploma, a BSc degree or higher degree in mathematical science, are, or have been, school teachers of mathematics and science education in South Africa.
Institutions with interests in Mathematics Education and its applications.
Undergraduate Mathematical Sciences or Mathematics Education student.
Anybody who wishes to associate themselves with the objectives of SAMWSA.
Men in the above catergories who wish to align themselves with the objectives of SAWMSA.
A senior or emerging researcher from Mathematical Sciences or Mathematics Education in Africa.
Access to SAWMSA activities and opportunities.
Opportunities to connect with fellow students, researchers and mentors.
Opportunities for professional developement and leadership roles.
President, Vice-President, General Secretary, Financial Manager and Development and Public Relations (these five to form the Executive), Scientific Activities, Education, and Liaison.
SAWMSA interim Steering Committee will be udopted during the SAWMSA Launch and Workshop that will take place on June 6-7, 2019.