Women encouraged to focus on research excellence

Posted on August 08, 2013

“Women play an important role on the continent. It may not always be a high profile one, but it is important nonetheless and I think there are many areas where we can focus our research so that we can determine what impact women have on African society and, perhaps more importantly, how we can strengthen their positions and address the problems they face”, she said.

Prof Nkomo indicated an increase in the number of young women entering post-graduate studies at the University of Pretoria, especially in the field of economic sciences. She said these young women are increasingly entering challenging fields and are setting their eyes on achieving the best results and securing top positions in their field.

“These are exciting times for young women, there are many doors that are open for them nowadays and they are taking the opportunities that present themselves”, she said.

It has also been her experience that the younger generation of today is much more attuned to the need for finding an appropriate work-life balance and work hard at getting the mix right.

“It certainly gives me hope for the future to see young women push for this balance and I think it may be within their grasp”, she added.

Prof Nkomo believes that the University of Pretoria’s focus on research is going to place it in a position where it can contribute to the continent creating its own world class skills and knowledge pool. This will help the University to drive its developmental agenda and ensure that Africans benefit from the opportunities that lie ahead.

She believes the explosion of knowledge-based economies and the increasing need for skilled individuals mean that there are opportunities for both men and women to make their mark in society.

“The growth in knowledge and how to apply this for the benefit of society gives us an ideal opportunity to balance the scales between the sexes in terms of workplace representivity. The demand for skills is so great that is unlikely that men and women will be taking work away from each other”, she concluded.

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