Monday 08 August 2022 - 11:14:46 pm

International Day of Women and Girls in Science to spur next generation into STEM careers in emerging sectors

DUBAI, 10th February, 2022 (WAM) -- Trailblazers working in space, climate change, energy and more will take the mic to mark International Day for Women and Girls in Science on 11th February at Expo 2020 Dubai, sharing personal experiences and exchanging strategies to encourage others to join these sectors.

Recognising that science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, the diverse programme will celebrate the successes of women change-makers and hone in on the role of mentors in guiding the next generation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The programme at Expo 2020 Dubai, which will be held at the Nexus for People & Planet, will run from 14:00-18:00 GST on 11th February, in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The event will be UNESCO’s main celebration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science for 2022.

Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General of Expo 2020 Dubai, said, "Science informs and guides our global commitments to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges, and scientific research has shown how imperative it is that female perspectives are brought into STEM to enrich and enhance knowledge and further innovation. We must build a culture and infrastructure where women and girls are inspired and encouraged to join the rapidly evolving STEM fields so that we can secure a more prosperous future for all humankind."

Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency, said, "Science and research have advanced significantly in the past decade, not only in the tools and innovations that have been developed, but also in the diversity of the STEM sector. Marking the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we proudly recognise the contribution of women to the UAE’s science community and also reiterate our commitment to encourage more women and girls to enter STEM fields and increase their participation in the advancement of humanity. There is still work to be done until we strike a true gender balance, but we are dedicated to achieve it."

Dr. Nair-Bedouelle, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO, said, "In this day and age, it is shocking that men and women should still not enjoy equal opportunity and equal pay in the workplace. We must step up our efforts to adopt gender-transformative policies and programmes that level the playing field from the school ground to the highest levels of decision-making."

The programme is scheduled to include Sarah Al Amiri; Dr. Nawal Al Hosany, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO; Simonetta Di Pippo, Director, UNOOSA (virtual); Christiana Figueres, Former Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (virtual); Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Space Scientist and Science Communicator, host of The Sky at Night on BBC Four; Zainab Azim, Co-Founder of GIVE, UN Space4Women mentor and the youngest Member of Virgin Galactic's Future Astronaut Program; Professor Catherine Ngila, 2020 Laureate of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Awards; and Anna Andersone, Co-Creator, Board member, Chief Empowerment Officer, Riga TechGirls.

WAM/Tariq alfaham/Amjad Saleh