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15 February 2017

Give more resources to females in science -UNESCO boss urges govt

femalescience

The participants in a photograph with the speakers after the event

The Head and Representative of UNESCO Ghana, Mr Tirso Dos Santos, has called on the government to commit more resources to support girls and women in science to entice more women to the field.

He said it was not enough to encourage girls and women to study Science without giving them the necessary support, a situation which usually forced them to grow out of education.

“If we talk but cannot put resources towards it then it is just wishful thinking. We need to start convincing our ministries of education and finance among others that they should put resources to their words.”

“I believe that a lot more needs to be done in order to retain women in science-related careers. The more women remain in scientific-related careers, the more role models will be there for our young girls to look up to,” he added.

Round-table discussion

Mr Dos Santos made the call last Saturday at a round-table discussion organised by the Diplomatic Call for Women in Science to commemorate the 2017 International Day of Women and Girls on Science which is observed annually on February 11 by the United Nations.

Speaking on the theme: “Gender, Science and Sustainable Development: The Way Forward,” the UNESCO boss further noted that “in developing countries where survival is the main matter, the best way of inspiring girls to go into the study of science is through the use of role models”.

He, however, expressed worry over huge amounts of resources used to support women and girls’ education in Ghana but at the end of each year the impact of such spending remained very little after assessment.

“We are running an initiative in Ghana with the support of the Chinese Government, which is to promote women and girls’ education. This initiative started last year and we found out that several millions of dollars have been thrown into girls’ education in this country but you don’t see any difference,” he bemoaned.

Challenges

At the event, the Director of Science, Technology and Mathematics Education, Ministry of Education, Mr Andrews Quaning, noted that although progress had been made in championing science education for girls over the years, there were still a few challenges to be addressed.

He outlined a number of challenges facing his outfit as well as some of the programmes being initiated to solve them to increase the percentage of girls in science and women in science-related careers.

“The Women and Girls in Science programme has run for some time now and it has yielded a lot of very good results, although we have not reached where we hope to get to,” he stated and added  that a lot more needed to be done.

According to him, girls need a lot of motivation to enable them to achieve their aim in science.

The event was moderated by a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Ghana, Dr Elsie Effah Kauffmann.

The International Day for Women and Girls in Science is an initiative of the United Nations which is celebrated annually on February 11 to inspire and engage women and girls in science.

 

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