BENIN CITY – The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has called for intensified efforts geared towards eliminating the long-standing biases and gender stereotypes, which have over the years limited the progress of girls and women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.
Governor Obaseki said this in commemoration of the 2020 International Day for Women and Girls in Science marked every February 11 by the United Nations (UN) Women.
Obaseki noted that bridging the gender gap in STEM disciplines is vital to achieving sustainable development in any country of the world.
The governor, however, celebrated innovative women who despite the gender biases and inequality, have broken new grounds in science and technology, commending them for braving the many cultural hurdles to stamp their names in history.
Obaseki said, “We must leverage this year’s International Day for Women and Girls in Science to honor our women who have contributed to the growth of science and technology across the globe, as well as educate young girls on its importance and encourage them to emulate such role models.
“It is quite worrying that though women have made tremendous progresses towards increasing their participation in science related fields, they are still underrepresented as a result of gender biases or cultural stereotypes. This calls for all hands to be on deck to change the narrative. Globally, we need to do more and encourage our female children to strive to be the best in whatever they aspire to be, especially in science disciplines.”
The governor noted that apart from legislations aimed at protecting women and girls in the state, the Edo State Government has embarked on series of programmes targeted at empowering women at the Edo Innovation Hub and other projects under the Edo State Skills Development Agency (EdoJobs).
Governor Obaseki said his administration is committed to the education and protection of the girl-child, noting that holistic reforms in basic education would propel children in the state to realise their full potential.
He said” “We are very committed to basic education development in the state and have demonstrated this with the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) programme, which is yielding impressive results.
“Together with this, we have championed a campaign against those who abuse female children and deprive them of the opportunity to go to school and learn to better themselves.”
Governor Obaseki explained that the state government “is determined to ensure that the girl-child feels safe and confident to compete with her peers across the globe.
“This is why we are expanding the Edo-BEST programme to include more children in junior secondary schools so that more children will have the opportunity to learn from the improved pedagogy and digital approach to teaching.”