By Funmi Ajumobi & Elizabeth Uwandu
In commemoration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, United State of America Consul General, Mr John Bray, observed that despite only about 30 percent of women and girls in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, STEM related fields, he believes the world would do better if all barriers against women were removed.
Bray who spoke at the Hidden Figures’ screening at the Silverbird Cinema called on Nigeria’s government to put measures in place to ensure that more females are involved in sciences.
While encouraging the students present at the event, US Consular said “Let me thank our hosts, Silverbird Cinemas, Vision 2020 Youth Empowerment and Restoration Initiative, the schools represented here today, and the alumni of U.S. government exchange programs who are here.
“According to a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization report, only around 30 per cent of all female students around the world select Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics-related fields in higher education.
“Nevertheless, I know the women and girls with us today, especially the young girls, are interested in STEM. That is fantastic! For that, I congratulate you! I applaud your interest in these fields. Why? The reason is simple: today, achievement in STEM-related fields is a key building block for any country’s economic success. With that in mind, friends and allies of Nigeria must encourage and assist Nigeria to succeed in this area.
“Now, the movie you are about to watch, “Hidden Figures,” presents the true story of three brilliant African-American women who successfully broke racial and gender barriers to contribute to America’s race to the moon. It is very inspiring and I believe it will encourage you to overcome any obstacles and defy and doubters that you may encounter in your pursuit of a career in STEM.
“You must be confident in your intelligence and demonstrate the determination and drive to succeed in any career path that you choose.
“Challenge yourselves, learn more about successful women in STEM fields, and draw inspiration from them.”US Consul General said
Mr Bray added that, “The U.S. government is convinced that when barriers to the participation of women and girls in the STEM fields are removed, women do better, families do better, countries do better, and the world does better. Whether at home or abroad, promoting women in the STEM fields is a priority of the U.S. Government. “
More broadly, the United States has invested millions of dollars to advance gender equality across sub-Saharan Africa, through activities that promote political and economic opportunities for women, access to health and education services, and prevent or respond to gender-based violence,” he said.