March 11, 2015

Strengthening girls’ involvement in STEM – An accelerator of sustainable development

This post originally appeared on UNESCO’s website here.

On 9 March 2015, UNESCO Director- General, Irina Bokova, took part in an event entitled “Women and Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM): Progress, Challenges, post-2015 opportunities for furthering the goals of the Beijing Platform for Action.”
Organized by the Permanent Mission of Latvia to the United Nations, the event took place in the presence of the Minister of Education and Science of Latvia, Ms. Mārīte Seile, the Associate Director for Science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Dr. Jo Handelsman, Vinay Oberoi, Secretary of State for Women and Child Development, India, and the Vice-President for L’Oréal Public Affairs and Strategic Initiatives, Lauren Paige.

“Twenty years after, we are not there yet,” declared the Director-General. “Only 30% of the world’s researchers are women.”

She highlighted that there are three gaps at least — a gap in the number of girls and women in STEM, a lack of disaggregated data to fully understand the complexities that influence women’s participation in this field and a gap in the lack of effective and targeted policies to address this issue.

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