The UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) in partnership with the Australian Embassy, STEMfem Network, Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World Zimbabwe National Chapter (OWSDZNC), Zimbabwe Institute of Engineers and Girls in STEM, hosted an event for hands-on Science activities in recognition of the International Day for Women and Girls in Science on 20th February 2020.
The celebrations brought together 80 female students (secondary level) and about 35 stakeholders from Women organizations, International Organizations and the government to promote the role of women and girls in science.
Australian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Her Excellency Ms. Moules as well as Dr Koen Verbist, UNESCO ROSA Natural Science Programme Specialist reiterated the need for countries to invest more in women and girls in science. They also called on States to work together towards eradicating inequalities in the science field.
Engineer Maud Muchuweti, Dean of Sciences at the University of Zimbabwe highlighted the need for more female scientists to conduct more mentorship programmes for girls in science, especially those in the rural areas.
The event commenced with a mentorship programme between the students and outstanding female Zimbabwean Scientists, followed by a quiz competition at the Australian Embassy. The discussions between the students and the mentors fostered keen interest in science related courses among the young girls. UNESCO, Purple Trust and Zim-Science Fair later engaged the students in fun hands on science experiments, robotics, and 3D printing exercises.
The Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World Zimbabwe National Chapter (OWSDZNC) took the opportunity to handover a publication titled #IAdmire to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education. The journal captures information on the work of renowned female scientists in Zimbabwe and addresses the gap between the students and the female Science experts in the cooperate world.
The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, celebrated on 11 February, is led by UNESCO and UN-Women, in collaboration with institutions and civil society partners that aim to promote women and girls in science. This year the commemorations took place under the theme, “Investment in women and girls in science for inclusive greem growth.