UN to address yawning gender gap

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UN believes women empowerment will solve many of world’s problems.,

In observance of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science today, the United Nations (UN) is exploring possibilities of using women and girls in promoting sustainable development in innovative inventions, medical breakthroughs and environment protection.

Working on the premise that many of the world’s biggest problems remain unsolved because too many women and girls are being discouraged from the sciences, the UN hopes to utilize women in research and increase their 30 percent involvement worldwide.

UN Women and UNESCO are working with partners around the world to close the gender gap in STEM fields and digital technologies.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of UN Women, and Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, are one in saying women’s and girls’ voices and expertise in science, technology and innovation are vital in brining solutions to the disruptive change in our rapidly evolving world.

They added that young women and girls around the world have been vocal in calling for action to combat climate change everywhere, so there is really a need to close the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields and actively promote gender equality in science, technology and innovation careers.

Both Mlambo-Ngcuka and Azoulay cited that in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2018, only 22 per cent of artificial intelligence professionals globally are female: A yawning gender gap that reflects significant issues like job segregation and unfavorable working conditions.

The statement also read that there is evidence of current problems for women in important jobs like engineering, with poor retention, advancement and reintegration after maternity leave.

It explained that STEM skills form the basis of the fastest-growing job categories and recent studies are showing that shifts in the global job market will result in 58 million net new jobs, particularly in data analysts and scientists; artificial intelligence and machine learning specialists; software and applications developers and analysts, and data visualization specialists.

In addition to addressing these barriers, improving digital connectivity and the accessibility of affordable technology can also ensure greater equality in STEM fields, enabling women and girls to benefit fully as scientists, students and citizens.

UN Women and UNESCO are working with partners around the world to close the gender gap in STEM fields and digital technologies.

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