13.10.2017 - GENDER

Cracking the code: Girls' Education in STEM

With nearly 350 delegates from over 70 countries, UNESCO launched a groundbreaking international symposium and policy forum on girls' education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It discussed barriers stifling girls‘ and women’s engagement in and contributions to the STEM fields, as well as practical solutions on how these barriers could be overcome.

On 28-30 August 2017, UNESCO hosted “Cracking the Code: Girls' Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)” , to examine girls' disadvantage in STEM studies and careers worldwide, and what the education sector can do to address gender gaps in STEM.

As UNESCO's first international symposium and policy forum on girls' education in STEM, it brought together a diverse group of stakeholders, from policy-makers and those on the frontlines of girls’ education in STEM. The event served as a platform for delegates from around the world to debate the factors fueling gender disparities and also to engage in hands-on learning of proven approaches to address these issues at all levels.

The symposium programme followed four sub-themes:

  • Building the foundations: Gender-responsive quality STEM education
  • Changing the equation: Addressing stereotypes and bias hindering girls’ participation
  • Gravitating into the field: Reaching out, engaging and empowering girls and women
  • Wiring the network: Partnerships, cross-sector learning and cooperation

 The Director of the Division for Gender Equality, Ms. Saniye Gülser Corat, participated in two sessions: “Working Session: EQUALS: Building a coalition to promote skills in the digital age,” and Panel Discussion: TeachHER: Using public private partnerships to advance STEAM education.”

Ms. Saniye Gülser Corat contributed to the advancement of the understanding of the multiple gender dimensions behind the use of and training on digital skills and reiterated the role of UNESCO as a co-leader of the EQUALS Skills Coalition. Given UNESCO’s mandate in the sciences, gender quality as a global priority, she further explained that UNESCO has a key role to play in taking up these issues and working to overcome gender disparities in access to, influence over, and use of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Gender Equality has been a global priority at UNESCO since 2008 and remains so today. UNESCO works to integrate gender equality considerations in all its programmes and initiatives, including in the sciences.


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