PARIS, France, 9 July 2021 -/African Media Agency(AMA)/- Professor Rajaâ Cherkaoui El Moursli, Laureate of the L’Oréal-UNESCO International Award For Women in Science in 2015, was ranked number one for Africa by the AD Scientific Index 2021, which ranks the most eminent and influential scientists in the world.
On May 21st, the AD Scientific Index 2021 revealed its international ranking. By ranking this Moroccan physicist number one for Africa and 34th worldwide, the AD Scientific Index 2021 salutes her determinant contribution in the field of Nuclear Physics and High-energies.
A BRILLIANT AND COMMITTED SCIENTIST
In 2015, Professor Rajaâ Cherkaoui El Moursli was awarded by the L’Oréal-UNESCO International Award For Women and Science for Africa and the Arab States for her role in the historic discovery of Higgs Boson, an elementary particle constituent of the standard model of particle physics, as well as for her commitment to make science accessible to all.
“Professor Rajaâ Cherkaoui El Moursli is not only a brilliant scientist – and we are honored to be able to count her among the Jury of our International Awards. But she also embodies female scientific excellence and is committed to making science accessible to all. We extend our warmest congratulations to her on her ranking in the AD Scientific Index 2021“, said Alexandra Palt, Executive Director of the Fondation L’Oréal.
“We have had the opportunity to work with Professor Cherkaoui on several occasions, including the 3rdAfrican Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation,” said Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, Assistant Director General for UNESCO’S Natural Sciences Sector. “Our Organization is proud to work for and alongside exceptional female scientists such as Professor Cherkaoui and we wish her every success with this new recognition.”
The awareness-raising work carried out by Professor Rajaâ Cherkaoui El Moursli contributes to significantly increasing the number of women in key research areas for the African continent’s development. For example, thanks to her and other renowned scientists’ commitment in Morocco, women represent 42% of students in engineering schools today (against 26% on a global scale).
“Professor Cherkaoui has been accompanying us with as much passion as integrity, for 15 years now, with the For Women and Science Morocco program, and during 7 years for the Maghreb edition. I warmly thank her for her dedication and determination, and congratulate her on this well-deserved distinction, ” said Laila Benjelloun, Managing Director of L’Oréal Maroc.
THE WORLD NEEDS SCIENCE, SCIENCE NEEDS WOMEN
If the number of women leading scientific careers tends to increase to reach a little more than 33% of researchers worldwide, this evolution remains too slow and only 12% of them are members of national academies of science throughout the world. Additionally, there are simply not enough African female scientists: today, they only represent 2.6% of researchers globally.
Convinced that the world needs science and that science needs women, the Fondation L’Oréal and UNESCO are committed to promoting women in science, with the ambition to make them more visible and make their talent known to the world, as well as inspire future vocations. Since the creation of the For Women in Science program in 1998, 117 Laureates and more than 3,500 talented young scientists, doctoral students and post-doctoral students have been supported and honored in more than 110 countries.
 UNESCO (2021) UNESCO Science Report: the Race Against Time for Smarter Development. UNESCO Publishing: Paris.