The ambassador of France to Nigeria, Emmanuelle Blatmann, has called for the eradication of gender disparity in the field of science.
She made this call at a cultural event opening the exhibition titled: ‘Women in science from yesterday to today’ to mark the 2023 International Women’s Day.
The event was hosted by the Embassy of France in Nigeria, in collaboration with local civil society organisations.
The exhibition, produced by the French association, AFNEUS, presents portraits of French and African women scientists who have all made progress in research during their careers, with varying degrees of recognitions.
She said that with this year’s theme, “Digital innovation and technology for gender equality,” the embassy thought it wise to recognise and celebrate the contributions of women in science.
“It is important that as we celebrate these scientists, we also recognise the challenges that women face in these sectors.
“Gender disparity in the field of science remains acute nowadays. We must continue collectively to work towards creating an enabling environment that promotes gender equality.
“In France, we have implemented several measures to promote gender equality in the field of science, including setting quotas for scientific committees and research teams and funding programmes specifically dedicated to women.
“More generally, gender equality is a top priority of the French government, which spearheads this commitment through its foreign policy.
“France has also committed to ensuring that 50 per cent of its official development assistance is to projects with gender equality as a significant or main objective.”
Also speaking at the occasion, the director of a non-governmental organisation, TechHer, Chioma Agwuegbo, advocated practical, sustainable and innovative ways to ensure that more girls are given the opportunity to be in classrooms.
She also called for the safety of girls in schools, saying that is where it starts.