#UN; #GenderGap; #ScienceMaleOriented; #GenerationEquality; #WomenInScience
New York, Feb 10 (Canadian-Media): Fewer than 30 per cent of the world’s scientific researchers are women: that’s just one of the statistics showing how many challenges remain for women and girls in the scientific field, as the world marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, on Tuesday.
Pledging to end the gender imbalance in science, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message for the Day that “dismantling gender stereotypes” was an essential step.
He highlighted the fact that “girls and boys perform equally well in science and mathematics, but only a fraction of female students in higher education choose to study sciences” and called for more supportive career development for women scientists and researchers.
Science can bring life-changing benefits
In her statement issued to mark the Day, UN Women’s Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, reinforced that message, specifying that “science and innovation can bring life-changing benefits, especially for those who are furthest behind – such as women and girls living in remote areas, the elderly and people with disabilities”.
Highlighting also the importance of science for decent work and jobs of the future, including in the green economy – essential to tackle the climate crisis - Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka said that there was a clear need to “break gender stereotypes that link science to masculinity”.
Paid less, published less
According to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) are published less, paid less for their research and do not advance as far as men in their careers.
UNESCO data from 2014-2016 shows that globally, female students’ enrolment is particularly low in information and communications technology (ICT), where women represent only three per cent, and natural science, mathematics and statistics, where the figure is five per cent.
“If we are to be able to address the enormous challenges of the 21st Century – from climate change to technological disruption - we will need to rely on science and the mobilization of all our resources”, said UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay.
“It is for this reason that the world must not be deprived of the potential, the intelligence, or the creativity of the thousands of women who are victims of deep-seated inequality and prejudice.”
The International Day was established in 2015, following the adoption of a General Assembly resolution, signalling the international community’s interest in achieving equality and gender-parity in science for sustainable development, and recognizing that full access and participation in STEM subjects is imperative for the empowerment of women and girls.
Window of opportunity
Marking the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a roadmap for the rights of women and girls, 2020 offers a fresh opportunity for progress towards gender parity.
The UN Secretary-General said the anniversary was a chance to “bring new urgency to promoting women’s and girls’ access to science education, training and jobs”.
The UN Women’s Generation Equality campaign aims to accelerate gender equality actions and mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
With six diverse Action Coalitions to tackle the unfinished business of gender equality, one focus of the campaign is on “Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality”, which aims to “catalyse action for game-changing approaches that provide new opportunities to women and girls, while addressing barriers to connectivity, digital inclusion and digital equality”.
UN Women’s Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka added that “Generation Equality was also a chance to ensure that the business community, including those in the STEM sectors, has a stake in and a responsibility for gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community”.
#UN; #ILO; #SDGs; #Indigenous; #TribalCommunities; #Poverty; #ILOConventionNo169
United Nations, Feb 3 (Canadian-Media): Indigenous and tribal communities are around three times more likely to face extreme poverty than others with women “consistently at the bottom of all social and economic indicators”, UN labour experts said on Monday, UN News agency reported today.
Women walk in the street in La Paz, Bolivia. Image credit: ILO/R. Lord
Highlighting new data showing that disproportionate numbers of indigenous people live on less than $1.90 a day – 18.2 per cent versus 6.8 per cent of non-indigenous people - the International Labour Organization (ILO) insisted that millions are being held back by a “spectre of poverty”.
The problem warrants global attention because this at-risk population is significantly larger than was previously thought, ILO insists.
According to the UN organization, there are more than 476 million indigenous people globally, the majority of whom live in relatively prosperous countries.
At the same time, support for the only international treaty that protects their rights - Convention No. 169 - is weak, it maintains.
Only 23 of ILO’s 187 Member States have signed the convention on the rights of indigenous peoples in the 30 years since it was adopted.
This means that only around 15 per cent of indigenous peoples stand to benefit from the treaty’s focus on implementing policies and legislation designed to combat poverty and unfair treatment and promote equality through inclusive dialogue and best practice.
Focusing on the world of work as a key indicator of the lives of indigenous people, the ILO found that far more of them are active in the informal sector - by 20 per cent - compared with other workers.
And based on data from 23 countries that are home to more than 80 per cent of indigenous people, the ILO report found that indigenous women face the biggest challenges too.
In addition to having the lowest chance of completing basic primary education, only about one in four indigenous women is in salaried work, compared with one in two non-indigenous female workers.
Indigenous earn less
Researchers also noted that even when they are in salaried work, indigenous people earn around 18 per cent less than the wider workforce.
According to the ILO, there are more than 5,000 distinct indigenous communities worldwide, in some 90 countries.
Regionally, Latin America and the Caribbean are home to the highest proportion of indigenous and tribal people, at 8.5 per cent of the total population - far more than the entire population of Colombia.
Data from nine countries in this same region also showed that these indigenous communities constituted almost 30 per cent of the extreme poor – the highest proportion across all global regions.
Mirroring this trend elsewhere, ILO underlined that in Africa, the more than 77 million indigenous people there – six per cent of the wider population – accounted for 24 per cent of the continent’s extreme poor.
In Asia and the Pacific, the region’s 335 million indigenous people comprised over seven per cent of the total population, and almost 16 per cent of the extreme poor, based on data from five countries.
The trend was also identified to a lesser extent in Northern America, where the over seven million indigenous people constituted over two per cent of the wider population and 3.5 per cent of the poorest members of society.
Let them be heard
ILO believes that indigenous people’s views need to be heard in order to put in place sustainable social justice policies that are detailed in Convention No. 169.
These will help to tackle the problems that indigenous people face, including poverty, inequality, conflict and climate change, the UN organization believes.
Nonetheless, although “several countries” have designated agencies for indigenous affairs and have made the “greatest progress” so far, there have been too few opportunities for engagement with minority communities to date, the ILO maintains.