News Release

Conference of women engineers at the University of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo

By realizing their full potential, women contribute to the progress of the entire nation

It was in the faculty of polytechnics at the University of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo that a conference was held on May 1, 2024 on the theme: “Woman: Main actor of progress in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Current challenges and expectations for the future.” Organized by the faculty delegation through its Ministry of Women's Affairs, with funding from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this conference brought together all polytechnic students and other guests to reflect on the challenges that encounter women, strategies to overcome them and the positive implications of a society where women can fully contribute to national progress. How to dispel prejudices, stereotypes based on gender and all the obstacles to the emergence of women in the field of engineering that have long dominated the male gender. A reflection on the importance of women rising above the dividing line, or above the noise of discrimination to unlock their full potential and foster a more equal and prosperous future.

Invited to speak in this conference, Harlaine Odia, head of the strategic planning department of the Africa Central Area of ​​The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, former student of the Faculty of Polytechnic of the UNIKIN, a graduate in electrical/electronic engineering, encouraged women to take responsibility for defining what kind of man they want to be. To take the initiative every day to act according to the woman they want to become. She said: “Success is personal responsibility in the face of current and future challenges… Be yourself, clearly understand your responsibilities, identify challenges and develop simple solutions.”

Ms. Myriam DIAVITA MAFUTA, Civil Construction Engineer, doctoral student at the Free University of Brussels and teacher at the Polytechnic Faculty of UNIKIN, raised the fact that some women have been victims of biases without ever having had the chance to try, and that gender biases and stereotypes take root during early childhood and influence girls' career choices. “We must combat these prejudices and stereotypes in and through education. » she declared.

Assistant at the polytechnic faculty of UNIKIN and responsible for road design and calculations at the Congolese Agency for Major Works, Engineer Katria Kamiantako, for her part, advocated deconstructing stereotypes about women and science through culture, media, society, and toys. “We must help women and girls realize their potential.”

Key actors of progress, Men and women are equal partners. And by realizing her full potential, women will contribute considerably to the progress of the entire nation. This was the message taken away by the participants in this conference.

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