UNESCO report calls for greater investment and diversity in science

By Elkanah Nyauma

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UNESCO’S latest Science Report published every five years indicates that there is still more to be done before we can experience science’s contribution to the achievement of a more sustainable future for all the people of the earth.

 

“Better-endowed science is indispensable. Science must become less unequal, more cooperative and more open. Today’s challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, decline of ocean health and pandemics are all global. This is why we must mobilize scientists and researchers from all over the world,” said  UNESCO’s Director-General, Audrey Azoulay.

According to the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, spending on science has increased globally. But even this does mean that we have arrived yet. Greater investment is needed because of growing crises, UNESCO advised in the new report. 

Recommendations: How to invest in and achieve diversity in science

For science to become less unequal, more open and cooperative, we need to look back on United Nation’s call for the connection of girls to technology for a brighter future in April 2021.

Celebrating a decade of “Girls in ICT”, António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations said making information technologies available to all is very critical to building stronger communities and economies, and finding solutions to many of the world’s most difficult challenges.

Picture | International Telecommunication Union

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) data records a 17 per cent gender gap in Internet use worldwide saying this is even wider in underdeveloped countries.

According to the UN this gender gap is increasing in some regions, supporting gender inequalities by denying girls and women education opportunities and possibilities of finding better-paid jobs, and starting their own businesses.

The United Nations also records that while girls across the globe tend to do better than boys in reading and writing, they are still under-represented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Women also remain a minority in physics, computing, digital information technology, fields that are driving the digital revolution.

Supporting girls to access technological opportunities will enable them to obtain education especially through the internet. This will empower them to pursue science and related courses which are among the most popular subjects on the world’s largest online learning platforms.

Finally, there is need for organizations to work together to create awareness about the gender digital divide, support skills training and technology education , and call upon more young women and girls to pursue careers in STEM.

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