Still work to do to en­sure global gen­der equal­ity

Viet Nam News - - NATIONAL -

Women ac­count for less than 30 per cent of the world’s to­tal science re­searchers. This num­ber does not match women’s po­ten­tial in science and tech­nol­ogy.

HAØ NOÄI — Gen­der equal­ity world­wide has gen­er­ally im­proved as women find more op­por­tu­ni­ties to par­tic­i­pate in so­ci­ety.

Women are as­sert­ing their role in science and tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ment, and the per­cent­age of women in­volved in en­gi­neer­ing has in­creased over re­cent years.

How­ever, there is still work to do to reach true equal­ity.

Most coun­tries have not achieved gen­der equal­ity in science, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and math­e­mat­ics, heard par­tic­i­pants in a work­shop on gen­der equal­ity in science and tech­nol­ogy in the Fourth In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion yes­ter­day.

The work­shop was part of the eighth meet­ing of the In­ter­na­tional Net­work of Women En­gi­neers and Sci­en­tists-Asia and Pa­cific Na­tions Net­work (INWES-APNN). It was held in Haø Noäi with the theme “Woman Sci­en­tists for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment in the Dig­i­tal Age.”

Women ac­count for less than 30 per cent of the world’s to­tal science re­searchers. This num­ber does not match women’s po­ten­tial in science and tech­nol­ogy.

In Asia, only 15 per cent of science re­searchers are fe­male. In­dia has the low­est ra­tio, only 10 per cent, while coun­tries like the Philip­pines and Myanmar have high per­cent­ages with 55 and 85 per cent re­spec­tively. Ac­cord­ing to Nguyeãn Thò Bích Loan, Vice Rec­tor of Com­merce Univer­sity, Viet­namese women have strength­ened their po­si­tion in so­ci­ety. The per­cent­age of women act­ing as Na­tional Assem­bly deputies is 26.72 per cent, higher than the global av­er­age of 22.3 per cent.

The pro­por­tion of women ob­tain­ing the ti­tles of as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor and pro­fes­sor in­creased con­sid­er­ably from 7.0 per cent and 4.3 per cent re­spec­tively in 2000 to 29.53 per cent and 9.23 per cent in 2016.

While they have some ad­van­tages in Vieät Nam, fe­male sci­en­tists also face ob­sta­cles.

“House­hold chores, in­clud­ing child­care and el­der care, re­main the pri­mary re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of women, es­pe­cially moth­ers,” Loan said.

Lit­tle at­ten­tion is paid to so­cial ser­vices that al­le­vi­ate the bur­den of care and house­work for work­ing women.

Due to fam­ily and care-giv­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, women sci­en­tists have lim­i­ta­tions on so­cial net­work­ing, op­por­tu­ni­ties for train­ing and work­shops. Loan said all of these fac­tors add up to make women less likely to be the head of sci­en­tific projects, es­pe­cially for min­is­te­rial or statelevel re­search projects.

Seema Singh from Delhi Tech­no­log­i­cal Univer­sity in In­dia agreed with this view.

Ten per cent of the seats in the Bangladesh par­lia­ment are re­served for women and most ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions of­fer equal op­por­tu­ni­ties for men and women. But so­cial re­al­i­ties pre­clude girls from par­tic­i­pat­ing in pro­fes­sions which are typ­i­cally male dom­i­nated, she said cit­ing her re­search on South Asian sci­en­tists, adding that no seats are re­served for women in en­gi­neer­ing in Bangladesh.

Loan said it would be pos­si­ble to cre­ate favourable con­di­tions that re­move bar­ri­ers so women can reach their full po­ten­tial. This would in­volve mo­bil­is­ing re­sources to sup­port young in­tel­lec­tu­als and strength­en­ing co-op­er­a­tion among the com­mu­nity of fe­male sci­en­tists, she said.

Work­shop at­ten­dees agreed that there should be more op­por­tu­ni­ties to share ex­pe­ri­ences with gen­der equal­ity, es­pe­cially in science and tech­nol­ogy. They also em­pha­sised the need to un­der­stand the chal­lenges to in­creas­ing gen­der eq­uity in the field.

They rec­om­mended send­ing pol­icy pro­pos­als to na­tional and world lead­ers with the goal of re­ceiv­ing po­lit­i­cal com­mit­ments to equal­ity.

Rel­e­vant is­sues

Other work­shops held yes­ter­day ad­dressed dis­as­ter risk man­age­ment, cli­mate change adap­ta­tion and food safety. Par­tic­i­pants agreed cli­mate change af­fected ev­ery as­pect of life in­clud­ing the en­vi­ron­ment, se­cu­rity, food safety, the econ­omy and cul­ture.

They re­it­er­ated the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses in daily life. Con­sumers need to change their be­hav­iours on solid waste is­sues, and trans-na­tional en­ter­prises need to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for waste treat­ment and the im­ple­men­ta­tion of biodegrad­able plas­tics for pack­ag­ing.

Ad­dress­ing the work­shop, di­rec­tor of the Cen­tre for En­vi­ron­ment and Com­mu­nity Re­search (CECR) Nguyeãn Ngoïc Lyù said women could par­tic­i­pate as stake­hold­ers to in­flu­ence de­ci­sion mak­ing and pre­serve their fu­ture liveli­hoods.

She cited the CECR’s re­search on women’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in two de­vel­op­ment projects in Vieät Nam as an ex­am­ple.

The find­ings showed that the en­gage­ment of women in con­sul­ta­tions at the Trung Sôn hy­dropower pro­ject gen­er­ated pos­i­tive and im­por­tant changes. One re­sult was a change of the re­set­tle­ment sites in two of the four com­munes. The new sites are lo­cated in a smaller area but with more fer­tile land and cleaner water sources.

The women who par­tic­i­pated had views on en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues such as drink­ing water qual­ity, air pol­lu­tion and other health is­sues, while the men were more con­cerned with land and as­set com­pen­sa­tion, Lyù said.

Par­tic­i­pants at the meet­ing voiced their opin­ion that all peo­ple need nu­tri­tious and safe food, so they urged ac­tive co-op­er­a­tion with APNN mem­bers to ad­dress food safety. They called for more in­volve­ment in food safety, nu­tri­tion and pub­lic health is­sues, es­pe­cially through law amend­ment and nu­tri­tion train­ing.

They closed the meet­ing by en­dors­ing the Haø Noäi Dec­la­ra­tion, which showed the com­mit­ment of APNN mem­bers to strength­en­ing the co-op­er­a­tive re­la­tion­ship among fe­male sci­en­tists. — VNS

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Viet Nam

© PressReader. All rights reserved.