AIMS Ghana marks 8th UN Day for Women, Girls in Science

The African Insti­tute for Mathemati­cal Sciences (AIMS Ghana) and its partners on Friday marked the 8th International Day of Women and Girls in Science (IDWGIS) with an innovative hybrid-forum across three major university campuses in Ghana on Friday, February 10.

The forum was held for the first time simultaneously at the Uni­versity of Ghana Legon, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and the University for Development Studies to bring everyone forward for sustainable and equitable development through ideas.

Welcoming participants to the celebration, the Chief Operating Officer of AIMS Ghana, Adelaide Asante, said the event formed part of her outfit’s partnership with the Henry Luce Foundation, the UN in Ghana and AIMS Women in STEM (AIMSWIS), to organise a forum that brings together women and girls in science.

“This forum focuses on pro­viding a platform for Ghanaian women and girls in science to discuss the role of women and girls in science in achieving the SDGs, and call to action the role of government in creating an enabling environment to strengthen science, policy and the society,” she said.

According to the United Nations, the 8th IDWGIS aims to bridge the international community and women in science by linking their knowledge and expertise and its applications in a systematic, critical way for the 2030 agenda and its 17 global goals.

Mr Abdourahamane Diallo, the UNESCO Representative to Ghana, stressed the importance of having more female representation in science and science education.

• Mr Abdourahamane Diallo (middle) with participants after the event
• Mr Abdourahamane Diallo (middle) with participants after the event

“As stated by the UN Secre­tary-General, António Guterres: Without more women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics(STEM), the world will continue to be designed by and for men, and the potential of girls and women will remain untapped.

“We can and must all do our part to unleash our world’s enormous untapped talent – starting with filling classrooms, laboratories, and boardrooms with women scien­tists. And crucially, by affirming women’s rights and breaking down stereotypes, biases, and structural barriers.”

Joining the forum via the Zoom app from his campus at the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Nyankpala, the Vice Chancellor of UDS, Pro­fessor Seidu Al-Hassan, said the importance of science could not be over-emphasised as evidenced by the medium through which he had joined the forum.

He added, that nobody, espe­cially women and girls, should be left behind as far as science is concerned and called for ways to actualise recommendations that would be captured in the eventual communique at the end of the forum.

In an address read on her behalf, the Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Prof. Rita Akosua Dickson, stressed that the SDGs could not be fully realised without intensified efforts in innovation and sustainability in spaces where women and girls exist.

Globally, women make up about 28 per cent of the workforce in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and men vastly outnumber women majoring in most STEM fields.

Delivering a keynote address, the Minister of Environment, Sci­ence, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Dr Kwaku Afriyie, in a speech read on his behalf, enumer­ated some steps his ministry and allied agencies are taking to address the gap.

“Bridging the gap in female representation is key. MESTI has taken steps to bridge the gap in science-related programmes such as women in engineering to bridge the gender gap,” he said.


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