St. Vincent & the Grenadines Green Party

Articles

Fri 11th Feb 2022

11th February - International Day of Women and Girls in Science

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According to the United Nations, science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science.

In order to achieve full and equal access to, and participation in, science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, the United Nations General Assembly declared 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science in 2015.

The ULP regime has failed to bring equality for women and girls in science in SVG. In many areas of life, there is significant gender inequality in SVG.

A significant gender gap has persisted throughout the years at all levels of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines all over the world. Even though women have made tremendous progress towards increasing their participation in higher education, they are still under-represented in these fields.

Gender equality has always been a core issue for the United Nations. Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will make a crucial contribution not only to economic development of the world, but to progress across all the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well.

To achieve science and gender equality in SVG and create equal access to, and participation in, science for women and girls, we need significant changes, such as:

1. We need free education from preschool to our own university, and that includes free books, free uniforms and no fees;

2. We need cheaper electricity, so that all households have mains electricity. We can achieve this by generating all our electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar, hydro and wind;

3. We need free internet throughout SVG, so that poorer households have internet access.

There is much discrimination within the world of science and technology against women. According to the United Nations:

• Women are typically given smaller research grants than their male colleagues and, while they represent 33.3% of all researchers, only 12% of members of national science academies are women;

• In cutting edge fields such as artificial intelligence, only one in five professionals (22%) is a woman;

• Despite a shortage of skills in most of the technological fields driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution, women still account for only 28% of engineering graduates and 40% of graduates in computer science and informatics;

• Female researchers tend to have shorter, less well-paid careers. Their work is underrepresented in high-profile journals and they are often passed over for promotion.

Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA, believes that rather than wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on unnecessary development of Kingstown port, it would be better to invest in a science and technology university in SVG.

The opportunity cost of wasting millions of dollars on a new port rather than building a university for the people of SVG will be huge. It would be another slap in the face of the young generation, and girls especially, not to.

The ULP regime has failed to bring equality for women and girls in science in SVG and in other areas of life too.

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