On February 11, the International day of women and girls in science celebrates their achievements in the field. It’s also an opportunity to discover Éclaireuses, an IRD project dedicated to raising awareness among young people about the important role of women in research.
Éclaireuses was born as part of the Generation Equality label awarded by UN Women, following IRD's commitment to implement actions in favor of gender equality. Alongside other key measures, such as creating an international South-North network of women scientists, IRD is committed to organizing awareness-raising initiatives for young people.
Raising awareness and deconstructing
Éclaireuses invites high school students to meet women working in research, whatever their discipline or profession. These encounters take the form of speed-searching, express meetings in small groups that enable them to exchange ideas in a limited time around a symbolic object chosen by the scientists.
These encounters are an opportunity for young people to discover that research is a human adventure, diverse and varied, and that it can become a vocation for everyone. Éclaireuses helps to inform and raise awareness among young people and teachers about the representation of women in science.
The initiative also aims to broaden the horizons of these young people so that they do not limit their career choices. Objectives include:
- Raising young people's awareness about gender equality
- Deconstruct gender stereotypes
- Provide role models that young people can identify
- Promote awareness of research-related careers
Speed-searching in five countries
Five countries in which IRD is present, will host Éclaireuses meetings in March:
Éclaireuses will be organized in Côte d'Ivoire in collaboration with the NGO Sciences et technologies au Féminin, which will host high-school and middle-school students from Abidjan.
The Lycée français Alexandre Yersin de Hanoï, in Vietnam, will host the meeting on March 8, with featuring contributions from researchers from IRD and CIRAD, in collaboration with the French Embassy in Vietnam.
The initiative, renamed Exploradoras in Ecuador, will take place on March 8 at the MIC, Quito's interactive science museum, in collaboration with REMCI, the Ecuadorian network of women in science, and will enable high school students to meet a science mediator and researchers in aeronautics, anthropology, architecture, astrophysics, biotechnology, geography, mathematics, and volcanology.