Sawise focus on schoolgirls

01 August 2005

Catch them young, and expose them to the big, wide world of science. That's what Sawise plans to do when the organisation for women in science and engineering celebrates their 10th anniversary with local schoolgirls, science postgraduates and women in science and engineering.

The milestone on August 8 will also celebrate Women's Day (August 9). The first half of the one-day seminar has been tailored to a school-going audience to raise girls' awareness of career options in science. Sawise chair Prof Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan will welcome the girls and introduce them to postgraduate students from various departments in science faculties from various tertiary institutions in the Western Cape.

The postgraduates will present their research to the schoolgirls and some will elaborate on their reasons for choosing their specific careers, whether astronomy, entomology or electrical engineering. The pupils will also be guided around displays of postgraduate posters and several interactive displays.

The afternoon session is aimed at women and postgraduate students working in science. Dr Mamphela Ramphele, co-chair of the Global Commission on International Migration and chair of Circle Capital Ventures, will talk about harnessing science and technology for empowerment. Other speakers include Lucienne Abrahams of the Department of Science and Technology and chair of the South African Reference Group for Women, and Dr Dahlia Garwe, head of biotechnology at the Tobacco Board of Zimbabwe.

The Hers-SA team will run an interactive workshop on micro politics women face in the workplace. After a chaired panel discussion the postgraduate posters will be judged.

The programme takes place at the Iziko Museums' SA Museum (For more information go to

Stop press

Congratulations to Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan, a professor of palaeontology in the zoology department, for scooping the 10th annual Shoprite Checkers/SABC2 Woman of the Year Award. The news broke on the eve of going to press. She also won the Science and Technology category. An interview with her will follow in next week's edition of Monday Paper.

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