By Ignatius Ushie
The Honorable Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, OFR KSJ has said that women around the world are consistently under-represented in leading positions in science, noting that studies have shown that men and women are consciously or unconsciously biased against women in Sciences.
The Minister who stated this at the Government Girls Science College in Kuje Area Council in FCT Abuja during the 2021 celebration to mark the International Day Of Women And Girls In Science, added that at present less than 30%of researchers worldwide are women.
According to UNESCO data (2014-2016), only around 30% of all female students select STEM- related fields in higher education. Globally, female students enrolments are particularly low in ICT, Natural Science, Mathematics and Statistics, Engineering, Manufacturing and Construction, she said.
Speaking further, the Minister said it was in view of the aforementioned that the Ministry of Women Affairs want to intensify efforts to improve the information on the place of girls and women to occupy positions in science and technology, access to scientific and technological studies as well as achieve greater equality between men and women in the society. “We will create awareness campaigns to promote Girl Child education, hence we have embarked on distribution of educational support materials to students to support their academic pursuit in science and technological related courses”.
Tallen said Her ministry will work in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education, with the support of World bank to change the narratives, adding that the World Bank’s Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Environment (AGILE) project in Nigeria is working with the ministry to promote Girl-Child education in all ramifications.
In her welcome address, Mrs. Sabina Obiagehli, the principal of GGSC Kuje welcomed the honorable Minister and her entourage and thanked them for choosing her school to hold the epoch making event.
There were also goodwill messages from the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, Women in ICT led by its President, Mrs. Chinwe Anyachebelu, Deputy country representative of UNFA, Erica Godson among others.
The highpoint of the event was the presentation of study materials to the students by the Minister of Women Affairs. The students took out time to entertain the crowd in dance, poetry recitation and drama.
It would be recalled that the 11th of February has been set aside to celebrate the International Day for Women and Girls in Science all over the world.