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Don seeks support for women in STEM

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[FILES] Okpuzor has harped on the need to support women and girls in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Photo: PIXABAY

President, Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), Lagos State Chapter, Prof. Joy Okpuzor has harped on the need to support women and girls in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

According to her, the country should give all the necessary support that would allow women and girls to take up subjects in STEM-related fields since these subjects are the main drivers of our economic and national development.

She said in some parts of Nigeria, women and girls are working very hard to be included in the comity of intellectuals globally.

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“This group of young women should be allowed to express and manifest their God-given talent without any form of hindrance, so they can contribute to national development. Our demands are simple- give us a fair chance to contribute to nation building in an inclusive manner. We are not asking for too much,” she added.

Okpuzor at a media parley recently in Lagos disclosed that OWSD is an international organisation hosted by the World Academy of Sciences in Trieste, Italy, dedicated to providing research training, career development and networking opportunities for female scientists throughout the developing world.

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The president noted that as part of activities to mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, the organisation would be hosting an essay competition for 3,000 secondary school girls in STEM.

She explained that the event would bring to the forefront, the inequality and gender bias that has hindered the pursuit of excellence in science-related fields by most women and girls.

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Okpuzor highlighted that the topic for this year is ‘Investment in women and girls for inclusive green growth,’ because science and gender equality are the two most important factors necessary for the attainment of international agreed developmental goals, which include the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.

“According to data from the United Nations Scientific Education and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), fewer than 30per cent of researchers worldwide are women and approximately 30per cent of all female students’ select STEM-related fields in higher education. Globally, female students’ enrollment is particularly low in information communication technology, natural science, mathematics and statistics, engineering, manufacturing, and construction.

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