In commemoration of the third international day of Women and Girls in Science, organizations in the United Nations held a forum regarding equality and parity in science for peace and development.
The forum began with testimonies from girls who had faced gender-specific hardships. Many speakers alluded to historical female figures that encouraged them to persevere against suppression. Two men also spoke, sharing stories of interactions with females in school and work, complimenting them for their intellect and uniqueness.
Mr. Seth introduced the second half of the forum, claiming that more important than the awareness was the identification of specific solutions to the gender-based issues that women are facing. Mr. Seth also stated that science offers great potential for the completion of the SDGs, but will offer even more potential with the inclusion of women.
Ms. Luo alluded to her homeland, Zambia, and the factors that inhibit women from securing an education, including: child marriages, socialization, stereotyping and colonial curriculum. Ms. Luo called for less talk and more action, as well as bringing this movement on an international scale.
Mr. Le Feuvre presented a brief overview of research that WIPO conducted to highlight the gender status of women in STEM. The data demonstrated an increase of international women patent applications, while only 30% of international patents are shared with women. The data also compared shared patents with women between specific fields of technology, pinpointing pharmaceutics to be the highest and construction engineering to be the lowest.
Several other women spoke regarding gender disparity, including a female researcher at Mount Sinai who was robbed of her research by a male supervisor and struggled to retrieve it—an example of what female scientists endure.
Meeting: Forum on —”Women and Girls in Science: Equality and Parity in Science for Peace and Development”
Date/Location: Thursday, February 8, 2018; 10:00-13:00; ECOSOC Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY
Speakers: Mr. Nikhil Seth, Director of UNITAR; Nkandu Luo, Minister of Higher Education of Zambia; Bruno Le Freuvre, WIPO Statistical Analyst
Written By: WIT Representative Timothy Stephens