News

February 12, 2022

APWEN calls for collective efforts to solve water-related challenges

drinking water, APWEN

Tap water

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… highlights role of women and girls in science

By Ebunoluwa Sessou

As the world marks International Day for Women and Girls in Science,  the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria, APWEN, has called for collective efforts to highlight the role of women in science and technology in solving water-related challenges.

The Association also harp on creating awareness and earning a commitment from decision-makers and the public for this issue that affect the lives of millions of people particularly, the disadvantaged.

Speaking on the theme of the year 2022, “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Water Unites Us”, the President APWEN, Dr Elizabeth Eterigho explained that, the Day was adopted by the United Nations in order to promote full and equal access and participation for women and girls in science. 

“In order to achieve full and equal access to science and participation for women and girls, and also to further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, the United Nations at the General Assembly in 2015, had to declare the February 11, as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

“Science and gender equality are both paramount for the achievement of the development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Over the past thirty-nine years, APWEN has made significant strides in encouraging and engaging women and young girls in science.

“A significant gender gap is visible at all levels of science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines all over the world. Though women have made tremendous progress towards increasing their participation in higher education, they are still under-represented in these fields.

“In closing this gap, the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), a non-profit, non-governmental, educational, and service organization in her thirty-nine years of existence, has been an advocate for inspiring young girls into science through her numerous programs such as invent it build it, a catch them young programs, town and gown, fashioned to increase the employability of the young graduates.

“It is not surprising that this year’s theme is coiled round what is common to all of us; water, the SDGs 6; which is clean water and sanitation; aimed to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

“Water, Sanitation, Hygiene, WASH, and Ocean issues are at the core of sustainable development because they are closely connected to several key global challenges such as energy, food security, biodiversity, health, climate change, among others.

“The United Nation recognized the role of women and girls in science, not only as beneficiaries but as key agents to effecting any change, including that of accelerating the achievement of “Clean Water and Sanitation for all”.

“Water is the only thing that unites irrespective of genders, ethnic, socio-cultural and religious backgrounds. However, its availability is scarce.

“According to the United Nations’ report, one in three people do not have access to safe drinking water globally, two out of five people do not have a basic hand-washing facility with soap and water, and more than 673 million people still practise open defecation.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of sanitation, hygiene and adequate access to clean water in order to prevent diseases.

“The World Health Organization reported that handwashing is one of the most effective actions to reduce spread or prevent infections. Yet billions of people still lack safe water sanitation, coupled with inadequate funding for water”, she said.

Vanguard News Nigeria