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Globally, only 30% of female students select Sciences in higher education – Report

A United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization report says only about 30 percent of all female students around the world select Science, Technology, Engineering…

A United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization report says only about 30 percent of all female students around the world select Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) related fields in higher education; the United States Consul General F. John Bray has said.

He stated this at the screening of a movie titled ‘Hidden Figures’ for secondary school girls at Silverbird Cinema in Lagos.

 The event was organized by the public affairs section of the U.S. Consulate General Lagos in collaboration with Vision 2020 Youth Empowerment and Restoration Initiative (YERI) to commemorate the 2019 International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

According to Bray, the achievement in STEM-related fields is a key building block for any country’s economic success.

“The world is rapidly changing; I think you have heard of innovations like driverless vehicles, drones, lasers, artificial intelligence, robotics, and nanotechnology.

“Mastering technologies such as these will be key to many of the job opportunities of the future,” he said.

He explained that the movie ‘hidden figures’ presents the true story of three brilliant African-American women who successfully broke racial and gender barriers to contribute to America’s race to the moon.

While he encouraged the girls to overcome any obstacle they may encounter in their pursuit of a career in STEM; he stressed the need for them to be confident in their intelligence and demonstrate the determination and drive to succeed in any career path they choose.

“Challenge yourselves and learn more about successful women in STEM fields, and draw inspiration from them. The U.S. government is convinced that when barriers to the participation of women and girls in the STEM fields are removed, women do better, families do better, countries do better, and the world does better.

“The United States has invested millions of dollars to advance gender equality across sub-Saharan Africa, through activities that promote political and economic opportunities for women, access to health and education services, and prevent or respond to gender-based violence,” he stressed.

The programme coordinator of Vision 2020: Youth Empowerment and Restoration Initiative, Ivie Karen said the essence of screening the movie was to inspire and encourage the girls to become whatever they want to become irrespective of their gender and background.

She also encouraged then to take up careers in STEM.

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