Minister seeks policies to support women, girls in science subjects

Minister seeks policies to support women, girls in science subjects
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By Justina Auta

Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen on Thursday sought for the implementation of new polices, initiatives and mechanisms to support women and girls to learn science subjects.

Tallen, made this call at Government Girls Science Secondary School, Kuje, FCT, while commemorating the 2021 International Day of Women and Girls in Science, themed: ” Women Scientists at the Forefront of the Fight against COVID-19.”

While noting the crucial role women and girls play  in science and technological innovations, she said the COVID-19 pandemic had further widened the gender gap between the female and their male counterparts in the frontline.

She said this had widened the existing gender gap in science and revealed the gender disparities in scientific system, which needed  to be addressed by new policies, initiatives and mechanisms to support women and girls in science.

According to her, efforts are  in place to improve access to scientific and technological studies, information on the place girls and women occupy in science and technology, as well as girl-child education especially in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

She revealed that the ministry had distributed educational support materials to students and collaborated with other stakeholders to promote girl-child education.

” I look at you as the hope of tomorrow. You are the future hope of this country,  you can make Nigeria better through education and science and technology innovation is the key,” she said.

Representative of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Mrs Deborah Kuberet, said the ministry had collaborated with women-based science NGOs to mentor young girls in science oriented courses.

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Kuberet further encouraged the girls to be dedicated in the study of science subjects, saying they are fundamental in achieving scientific breakthrough especially in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also, Education Specialist with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Mrs Azuka Menkiti, called on all state governments to create opportunities that would encourage women and girls to study science-based courses.

Representative of the UN Women, Ms Patience Ekeoba, said the contribution of women and girls in the field of science and technology was critical to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals. (SDGs).

Also, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative, Mrs Obiangeli Slyvana, urged the girls to be determined and resilient despite challenges to realise their full potential and contribute to the development of science and technology in Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the students performed drama and dance on the role of women in science and technological innovation.

Also, writing and science materials, as well as sanitary items were distributed to the students. (NAN)

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