Girls and Women in STEM in the World
17of the 589 Nobel Prizes in STEM were awarded to women
35%of enrollments in higher education in STEM are women
Girls and Women in STEM in Brazil
44%of the Brazilian workforce was made up of women in 2018
31%of STEM professional posts in Brazil are occupied by women
This profound inequality does not happen by accident. Many girls are prevented from developing due to discrimination due to various biases, norms and social expectations that influence the quality of education they receive and the school subjects they study. The under-representation of girls in STEM education has deep roots and places a brake on progress towards sustainable global development.
UNESCO has identified four factors that influence the participation, advancement and performance of girls and women in STEM education. These four factors are also strategic areas of intervention to reverse this critical scenario. They are:
- Individual – girls' decisions about their studies and careers are influenced by psychological factors, which affect their involvement, interest, learning, motivation, persistence and commitment to STEM fields. STEM-related gender stereotypes are prevalent throughout the socialization process.
- Family – family members can also greatly influence girls' participation and learning performance in STEM, depending on family values, environment, experiences, and the stimulation they provide.
- Social – cultural and social norms influence girls' perceptions of their abilities, societal roles, careers and life aspirations. Gender equality level in society affects girls' participation and outcomes in STEM.
- School – differences in the participation of girls and boys in STEM education at the expense of girls start still in early childhood education, in games related to science and mathematics, and are more visible at higher education levels.
What is the #EducaSTEM2030 initiative?
In response to the challenging scenario that encompasses the exclusion of girls and women in STEM areas, in 2022, UNESCO in Brazil, in an innovative way, convenes different partners and launches the initiative nationwide. Through teacher and student training strategies, communication and advocacy initiatives, and network mapping, this initiative contemplates and aims to positively impact the identified areas (Individual, Social, School and Family) to reverse the exclusion scenario.
The Objective of the Project
Bringing as a premise of Agenda 2030 the idea of leaving no one behind, the #EDUCASTEM2030 project aims to contribute to awareness and transformation, through a pedagogical approach of the school, from the stimulus to the projects of life for girls and boys and prioritizing students belonging to groups of greater social vulnerability: blacks, indigenous, quilombolas, LGBTI+ and low-income people.
The initiative invites all STEM girls and women worldwide to join this circle to transform realities using #EDUCASTEM2030 on their social media.
Register for the movement
Send your message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following data:
- Full name:
- Birth date:
- City & state:
- Educational institution:
- How can you contribute to the movement? (UNESCO will not respond to the messages, but they will serve to reflect the movement's planning)
#EDUCASTEM2030 - Concept Note
Read the concept note of the UNESCO initiative to mobilize and advocate for education for girls and women in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in Brazil.
UNESCO will develop all training actions aimed at teachers and students in Brazil in the context of a broader umbrella of action that, in addition to the school, will involve advocacy actions to promote a systemic impact throughout Brazilian society. The four areas of intervention were identified to reverse this critical scenario: individual, social, school and family.
- Download the publication (in Portuguese)
Education should be color blind: Gina and Ana Karolina's stories
Despite being the tenth largest economy with one of the fastest growing GDPs in the world, Brazil's glaring social inequalities continue to affect access to education and inclusion for millions living there. Brazilians - children, youth and adults - have been denied access to quality, long-term education across generations. Yet, from a rural community with few opportunities, Gina Vieira Albuquerque managed to succeed despite the culture of discrimination in classrooms and the job market. As a primary education teacher, Gina hopes to help those like Ana Karolina, whose schooling is being sponsored by the Brazilian government's affirmative action program, to succeed and become part of a generation that assimilates Brazilians of different races and ethnicities. Teachers like Gina dream of a future where education and knowledge are colour blind.