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WFEO INWES Statement on the importance of women in advancing the SDGs published by UN Women

In celebration of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, 11 February 2021, WFEO is pleased to announce that the joint statement from INWES and WFEO was accepted by UN Women and is published on their website.

This is the first time that a written statement has been made and accepted.

The International Network for Women Engineers and Scientists (INWES) and the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) together represent women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) across 100 nations. These two organizations are committed to attracting girls to undertake careers in STEM and play an important role in developing and supporting programmes that encourage girls to study the enabling subjects of science and mathematics in school. Our organizations encourage parents, teachers and counsellors to support girls to study and pursue careers in science or engineering and provides support and advice to industry and government to retain women in the workforce, support women in their STEM careers, encourage them to achieve leadership positions and celebrate their achievements.

In the Statement, INWES and WFEO also reaffirm the conclusion relating to managing technological and digital change for women’s economic empowerment and agrees that there is a need to support women’s access, throughout their careers, for skills development and decent work in new and emerging fields, by expanding the scope of education and training opportunities especially in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), information and communications technology and encourage digital fluency. There is also a need to enhance women’s and, girls’ participation as users, content creators, employees, entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders in digital technologies and strengthen science and technology education policies and curricula, so that they are relevant to the needs of and benefit women and girls. It is also important to strengthen capacities of developing countries, so as to enable women to leverage science and technology for entrepreneurship and economic empowerment in the changing world of work.

The Statement reaffirmed INWES and WFEO commitments to advancing the 2030 Agenda and increasing the participation of women in STEM careers is critical to achieving the United Nations SDGs, including to:

  • Continue to develop projects and programs to attract more girls, especially in Africa and Asia to undertake studies in science and mathematics in high school.
  • Encourage young women and girls to consider careers in science, technology and engineering.
  • Continue to showcase the achievements of women scientists and engineering in our regional and international events and conference and include topics relating to gender and sustainable development as themes/major tracks.
  • Continue efforts in outreach programs to girls with information workshops for parents and educators on careers in STEM.
  • Encourage and support leadership development of women engineers and scientists through seminars.
  • Encourage governments and industry to attract and support women in STEM, and to address the need for diversity in STEM fields at all levels in the efforts to achieve the United Nations SDGs in their organisations.
  • Support research and develop innovative projects on the role of women in science, technology and engineering, and
  • ensure that women receive the education, legal and social protections, and support to pursue careers in STEM to achieve their personal aspirations, contribute to the economic futures of their countries and achieve the empowerment of women and the 2030 Agenda

The document can be accessed at the UN website in this page and in PDF format in this page.

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