Who we are

Gender in science, innovation, technology and engineering (SITE) is an international initiative to promote the role of women in science, innovation, technology and engineering, and to demonstrate how applying a gender lens to SITE can provide deeper insights, more effective programmes and more sustainable outcomes in the context of development.

The global development challenges we face are well known: poverty, lack of institutional capacity, environmental degradation, climate change and increasingly destructive natural disasters, health threats such as HIV/AIDS and malnutrition, and gender inequality. Policy and other decision makers need to weigh difficult trade-offs at every step, and innovation is critical to countries’ ability to adapt to changing circumstances and contribute to the global knowledge bank.

Yet, in many countries only half of the best ideas are heard – or even voiced. Worldwide, women are poorly represented at decision-making and management levels in the SITE sector. Moreover, studies over the last 20 years show that women and men are actually affected differently when SITE is applied to development. Applying a gender lens to SITE-for-development policies – taking into account the vision, concerns and abilities of both women and men – makes them more effective. Simply looking at development challenges in a different way can provoke deeper insights into more effective, long-term solutions.

GenderInSITE is a programme unit of UNESCO hosted by The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS).


To inspire transformative actions and more effective development by understanding the impacts of SITE on women and men and how women and men can contribute to SITE.


We build partnerships among GenderInSITE members to identify, understand, and develop strategies to apply the gender lens to SITE in six key areas: agriculture and food security; water and sanitation; energy; transportation; climate change and disaster & risk reduction; and science education & the workforce. By working with networks of researchers and policy-makers, we are mapping the nuances of local development challenges – and addressing them through information dissemination, tools and resources and awareness-raising activities. Currently GenderInSITE has two regional focal points: in Africa, and in Latin America & the Caribbean.