Over the next five years, UNESCO will:
- increase access for girls and women to digital skills and competencies, STI and STEM education opportunities, including engineering, computer science and informatics, to ensure gender equality in emerging STI fields such as nanotechnologies, engineering for the SDGs and Artificial Intelligence;
- provide access to STEM education to at least 2000 girls/year in Africa through hands on micro-science;
- enable at least 2000 women physicists/year globally under a programme ‘physics without borders’ to take leadership roles among relevant university research programmes;
- advance the scientific careers of young women scientists and give visibility to their scientific work in all related fields of technology and innovation through its partnership with L’Oréal-UNESCO “Women in Science Programme” and the Organization for Women Scientists in Developing Countries;
- support member States to review their national STEM education systems from a gender perspective; develop, monitor and evaluate gender transformative STI policies and systems, particularly in Africa;
- support Member States to close the digital gender divide, promote universal digital literacy, and ethical use of AI that is free of gender bias and stereotypes through the implementation of the Global Recommendation on the Ethics of Al;
- UNESCO will invest 24 million USD.
Turning Words into Action, UNESCO will
- provide funding for PhD researchers from developing countries through UNESCO’s Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD). OWSD also grants awards to early career fellows such as the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career Women Scientists.
- promote the scientific careers of young women scientists and give visibility to their work through the annual UNESCO-L'Oréal for Women in Science Award that recognized the achievements of 5 laureates and 15 Rising Talents in 2020 and in 2021. The programme is enriched by National and Regional Young Talents chapters implemented around the world with the support of UNESCO National Commissions and Field Offices.
- give visibility to the scientific research of women through thematic exhibitions, and documentary films projects such as VISIONS, a film project of UNESCO’s Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World with women scientists in Cameroon, Guatemala, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.
- support Member States to review national STEM education systems with particular attention to gender transformative and inclusive policies and strategies, including national STI policies
- implement a Flagship Programme on Women and Artificial Intelligence to promote gender bias free AI and gender equality in digital technologies in line with the UNESCO Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. A road map to provide evidence-based guidance to AI developers and regulators will be developed with a particular emphasis on fighting gender bias. A policy network to ensure that digital technologies and AI fully contribute to achieving gender equality will be established to support the implementation of this roadmap as well as to promote opportunities for the participation of girls and women in AI education programmes, provide support for female entrepreneurship as well as advocacy activities to fight gender stereotyping in AI.
- target women scientists through the Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme for Skills Building in Sustainability Science of UNESCO’s World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in the developing world (TWAS). In 2021, a Gender Advisory Committee for the TWAS was created to promote gender equality.
provide women physicists with research grants and support their active involvement and leadership roles in university research programmes through the “Physics without Borders” programme
create a critical mass of science teachers trained in gender responsive teaching of STEM subjects
provide STEM mentorship programmes for high school girls to nurture their interest in the sciences through STEM role models as well as provide courses in coding, robotics and AI (in partnership with Google, Microsoft, Airtel and Huawei)
- UNESCO Science Report (2021) analysing the implications for women of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, entitled To be smart, the digital revolution will need to be inclusive.
- UNESCO World Engineering Report (2021) with data indicating the decline in enrolment of girls in the natural sciences and engineering course in schools and universities as well as the lack of women engineers in universities