Says women and girls play critical role in STEM
By Ebunoluwa Sessou
President, Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria, APWEN, Engr. Funmilola Ojelade FNSE has called on the international community, States and individuals to work together to ensure equality of women and girls in the sciences and other fields become a reality.
Ojelade said humanity has everything to gain if equality in the involvement of women and men in science is achieved.
Speaking on the occasion the mark the United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2020, she said, the association joined her voice to UNESCO in calling equal participation of women and girls in science-related studies.
She revealed that the association has lined up activities for the Day including the presentation to secondary school students in Enugu; open science fair in Kano in collaboration with IHS Towers, a telecom infrastructure company. This will include a career talk to students on the subject of STEM and Engineering, coding, robotics, and programing workshop and a site visit to a telecoms company. In Abuja, APWEN will be joining the Women in Aerospace to mark the day.
While celebrating the outstanding achievements of women and girls in science will strengthen more girls to consider Engineering as a career, she disclosed that there are unique women who, despite all odds against them, have made excellent achievements just as their male counterparts in various fields of the Sciences. Adding that the male-dominated space, the women have carved a niche for themselves and have made tremendous achievements.
According to her, the day, by resolution of the United Nations, is an opportunity to promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
With the theme “Investment in Women and Girls in Science for inclusive green growth.” it is a reminder that women and girls play a critical role in science and technology communities and that their participation should be strengthened.
She, however, lamented that there still exists a significant gap in the number of girls in schools compared to that of boys, especially in many developing countries like Nigeria.
“The gap is even wider when it comes to girls in the field of science and technology. Only about 30 percent of world researchers are women from recent data released by the United Nations Education, Science, and Cultural Organization, UNESCO. Adding that the United Nations, science and gender equality are critical to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 9.