Building the capacity of women engineers in Uganda

Read how the Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers, supported by the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering, is becoming more gender inclusive, in this guest post for International Women’s Day.

Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers (UIPE) was established in 1972 to promote the general advancement of science, technology and the practice of engineering and its applications, and to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas on those subjects amongst the members of the Institution. On this occasion of the International Women’s Day 2017, whose theme is #BeBoldForChange – Help Forge a Better Working World, a More Gender Inclusive World, UIPE recognises the need to continue to strengthen the role of women in engineering in Uganda. Women in engineering includes engineers, technologists and technicians.

Raising the profile of women in engineering can best be achieved by embracing and harnessing the numerous opportunities available today, especially in the areas of Innovation, Industry and infrastructure which is one of the the Sustainable Development Goals. Women in engineering must adapt and, as such, continually improve and better demonstrate their value – as a profession. This means not only identifying where they are needed in society, but also understanding where society needs them.

However, although many women graduate in engineering annually, only few are members of UIPE and registered by the Engineers Registration Board (ERB). The ERB of engineers registered in Uganda has only 4% women registered! With support from the Royal Academy of Engineering under the Global Challenges Research Fund Africa Catalyst 16/17 Scheme (GCRF Africa) and in collaboration with the UK Institution of Engineering and Technology, UIPE is conducting a project with the overall objective to build capacity of women in engineering and equip them with skills to enhance professionalism in engineering. We need more women like Dr. Robinah Kulabako (shown above), recipient of a UIPE Presidential Citation Award. Dr. Kulabako is a Senior Lecturer and specialist in Environmental Engineering at Makerere University in the College of Engineering Design Art &Technology (CEDAT), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.