Women in the Asia-Pacific Region Shape Important Skills to Boost Innovation

UNESCO Institute for Statistics reported only 8 of 39 countries in the region with at least 50% female researchers. With 25% female researchers regionally and 30% globally, women are largely under-represented in the research and development sector, especially in Science, Innovation and Technology (STI).

To engage more women innovators in the region, UNESCO Jakarta conducted a series of workshops and two-panel discussions in September – December 2021. There was a fruitful collaboration with the Empire Code Loves Black for the online workshop “Important Supporting Skills for Women Innovators”, UNESCO Islamabad for hybrid sessions on “Biotechnology Innovation and E-Commerce for Women Innovators”, the Pakistan Science Foundation and the Indian Institute of Science.

These activities highlighted the following messages:

The gain of new knowledge from industry innovation in various leading sectors;
More gender-inclusive innovations in technology, and the rising importance of women in society;
Regional movement in gender equity and equality, especially in technology and innovation.
Mr Mohamed Djelid, the Director of UNESCO Jakarta highlighted that these workshops and panel discussions were designed to serve as a platform to sharpen participants’ skill sets and widen their perspectives on current technology and innovation trends. On this occasion, UNESCO invited regional role models innovators from emerging start-ups and small and medium enterprises.

Two panel discussions on “Women in SETI (Science Engineering Technology and Innovation): Mapping Assets and Gaps across Asia-Pacific” were co-organised with the Indian Institute of Science on 28 October 2021. Prominent resource guests from the pilots of the sub-region where the regional mapping was conducted (Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan, and Samoa) attended the panel. Read the full report on this study here.

The last workshop was conducted in collaboration with the Pakistan Science Foundation and UNESCO Islamabad on 30 December 2021. More than 130 participants,78% of whom were female, joined the hybrid sessions on “Biotechnology Innovation and E-Commerce for Women Innovators”.

These activities accelerated progress towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, and especially Sustainable Development Goals 4, 9 and 17.


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