Premiere of the documentary “La Ciencia de las Mujeres de África” at the Palacio de la Prensa in Madrid

Last Thursday, 23 May at 7pm, we premiered the documentary film “La Ciencia de las Mujeres de África” at the Palacio de la Prensa in Madrid. We had the presence of Queen Letizia and the Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, Elma Saiz, as well as other authorities who wanted to support this audiovisual project that seeks to give visibility to the contributions of African female scientists.

This film was for viewers a fascinating journey through the first eight years of the Science by Women/Ellas Investigan project, thanks to which African female scientists make stays in the best research centers in Spain. Through the direct testimonies of leading scientists from various countries of the African continent, the unique and challenging experiences faced by these women in their fields are revealed.

The protagonists share their experiences as female scientists, addressing crucial issues such as gender inequality, the professional obstacles they have overcome, the abyss that separates science in their environments from that of Western countries and highlight the problems in accessing the industry and the lack of adequate technical resources to carry out their research work.

In addition, these researchers present the projects in which they are currently immersed, the vast majority of which have direct and significant applications in their own societies. Despite resource constraints, many of them have found innovative alternative paths, often unexplored in the Western world, which not only enriches their work, but also brings new perspectives and knowledge to the global scientific community.

The documentary highlights the transformative impact of this program not only on African female scientists, but also on the institutions that host them and on their colleagues who collaborate with them for six months. This aspect underlines the importance of scientific cooperation as a fundamental element for progress in any field.

“La Ciencia de las Mujeres de África” represents the third audiovisual project of the Fundación, under the direction of journalist Begoña Piña and filmmaker Pedro Mambrú. This production not only offers a revealing look at the crucial role of women in African science, but also serves as a call to action to support and foster scientific excellence across the continent.

About Science by Women/Ellas Investigan

Scientific and technological research plays a crucial role in the social, economic and productive fabric of our societies. In Africa, where the fair and equitable exploitation of its valuable resources and the balanced distribution of their benefits represent a primary challenge, science, research and innovation are revealed as indispensable tools.

In order to boost women’s participation in these fundamental areas, Fundación Mujeres por África launched Science by Women/Ellas Investigan in 2014, a program dedicated to facilitating women’s access to science and technology, supporting their research career, highlighting their achievements and promoting their leadership in the international scientific community. Over the course of nine editions, we have established a network of 31 Spanish research centres that are committed to the talent of African female scientists, giving them the opportunity to carry out six-month research stays in key areas such as health, energy, water and climate change, agriculture and food security.

What really sets Science by Women/Ellas Investigan apart from other similar programmes is its innovative approach to the gender perspective, especially adapted to the diverse realities and contexts of the African continent. Recognizing the persistent disparity in women’s access to and advancement in science, particularly in terms of the length of their doctoral studies, as well as the crucial importance of reconciling professional and personal life, we have taken concrete steps to address these issues. That’s why we chose not to set an age limit for female participants in the program, recognizing that the path to the PhD may be longer and more complex for many African scientists. In addition, we have adopted a flexible policy that allows the beneficiaries to divide their research stay as needed, thus providing the necessary support so that they can balance their family and professional responsibilities effectively.

To date, more than 160 African researchers from across the continent have benefited from this initiative, becoming part of NOW is Africa, a network committed to eliminating gender barriers and promoting a culture of innovation and research in Africa.

About the directors of the documentary film

Begoña Piña is co-director and co-writer of “La Ciencia de las Mujeres de África”.

Premio de Comunicación Alfonso Sánchez 2018, awarded by the Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences of Spain.

She is a collaborator of the Fundación Mujeres por África in its Science by Women project.

Journalist specialized in films and books. She currently writes for Público, the book magazine Librújula, the letters magazine Archiletras and the digital film blog La Gran Ilusión. She is responsible for communication for the Asociación de Mujeres Cineastas y de Medios Audiovisuales (CIMA).

Some of the media in which he has worked are Agencia Efe, Diario 16, La Vanguardia, Filosofía Hoy, Historia 16, Clío, Qué Leer, Fotogramas, Caimán. Cuadernos de Cine, Metrópoli…

She is the screenwriter of the feature-length documentary ‘Mujeres de abril’ and the short films ‘Tengo un arma’ and ‘Without the slightest doubt’. Member of the Colectivo de Mujeres Cineastas and author of the film ‘The Freedom Train’. Co-author of the book ‘Enrique González Macho. Mi vida en V.O. (50 años de cine)’. Member of the team that carried out the ‘Diccionario de Cine’ of the Fundación Autor.

Pedro Mambrú, co-director and co-writer of “La Ciencia de las Mujeres de África”.

Director, screenwriter, editor and independent producer, he is the author of several short films recognized with awards at different national and international festivals.

He is a collaborator of the Fundación Mujeres por África, among other projects, in Science by Women. He was editor and co-director in post-production of the documentary feature film ‘Voces Verdes’, by Secelela Balisidya and produced by Mujeres por África.

He has developed his career as a filmmaker in different television networks, such as Canal+ (Premio Cortogenia for ‘La noche más corta’), TVE, Cuatro (premio Promax), Antena 3, Telemadrid…

In 2011 he created El Hombre Ola, from where he has made and produced campaigns for Paramount Comedy, Paramount Chanel (two premios Smile de Publicidad), channels of the AMC group, Film Academy, Fotogramas, Renoir Cinemas, SADE Cinemas, San Sebastian Horror Film Week…

She has also signed campaigns for different associations and organizations, such as Centro de Investigación Biomédica (CIBER), Biblioteca Nacional, Secretariado Gitano, Asociación de Mujeres Cineastas y de Medios Audiovisualea (CIMA), Asociación de Enseñantes con Gitanos, Bibliotecas de la Comunidad de Madrid and many others.

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