Women, girls should have equal access to science education, says UNIC director, Kayanja

Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Mr. Ronald Kayanja (second right) and other facilitators and participants during the yearly International Day for Women and Girls in Science, recently held in Lagos

The Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Mr. Ronald Kayanja has stressed the need to encourage girls to study science subjects and pursue a career in the sciences, so as to break the age-long socio-cultural barrier that discourages girls and women from making career choices in science and technology.

Kayanja who spoke at the annual International Day for Women and Girls in Science held last Saturday at Supreme Education Foundation School, Magodo, Lagos said there is an urgent need to address the trend of gender inequality in science related courses by encouraging more girls and young women.

The event, organized by UNIC and a group, “Yes I believe Academy” (YIBA) was attended by about 200 girls from three secondary schools in the state. It also featured presentations by women in the sciences as well as a playlet by the students of the host school.

According to Kayanja, “more girls and young women should be encouraged to go into the Sciences as there are no subjects for boys and another for girls. What boys can do, girls can do even better. In Africa, fewer girls are in the sciences primarily due to the socio-cultural belief that sciences are meant for boys and not for girls and also due to lack of motivation from parents to make girls pursue career choices in Science.”

In his message to the event, the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres lamented that discriminatory stereotypes have prevented women and girls from having equal access to education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

“This stereotypes are wrong. They deny women and girls the chance to realize their potentials and deprive the world of the ingenuity and innovation of half the population.”

He called for greater commitment by all so as to end bias; greater investments in STEM education for all women and girls as well as opportunities for their careers and long-term professional advancement so that all can benefit from their groundbreaking future contributions.

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