Countries must address lack of women in science and technology fields – UN

UN News Centre – Thursday, 10 January 2013 (originally published 07 Jan)

Woman working in techology
Women and technology – the attitude gap. Image: UN Women/Gaganjit Singh

7 January 2013 – Women and girls run the risk of being left behind in scientific and technological fields if countries do not put measures in place to address discrimination and change traditional attitudes, the United Nations said today, warning that this gap constitutes an obstacle to nations’ progress.

“Women tend to be overrepresented in the humanities and social sciences, and underrepresented in science and technology,” said an official from the world body’s International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Bureau for Workers’ Activities, Claude Akpokavie. “Measures need to be put in place to redress this imbalance.”

According to ILO, the gap between men and women in the scientific and technological fields is linked to pervasive gender roles and attitudes in different societies – visible in both developed and developing countries – which encourage girls to pursue ‘softer’ subjects . . .

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