The Gender Development and Resource Centre joined many organisations and institutions worldwide to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day.
It was on the theme: Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change.’ The theme was based on the 2019 UN International Women’s Day celebration theme.
It brought together stakeholders, other institutions, teachers, parents, welfare experts to deliberate on the ways the gender gap in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) could be bridged in order to bring about development.
In her welcome address the head of the Gender Centre, Dr. Beatrice Akua Sakyiwa indicated that this year’s celebration focused on how women’s ideas and experiences could influence the design and implementation of the innovations that shape the society.
She stressed the importance of the theme to the celebration since certain barriers still existed to challenge the enrolment of girls in STEM programmes in Ghana and especially in Africa generally.
‘The centre is committed to ensuring that there is an increase in enrolment of girls in STEM subjects and one way to do that is through role models and mentoring and that is the reason why we are here today,’ she said.
According to Dr. Sakyiwa, to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, which is a core mandate of the UN sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), requires a shift in perspective, blended with cohesive methods to bring about change.
In her keynote address, Ms. Berthy Buah, the regional coordinator for STEM stressed the importance of girls and women in pursuing STEM programmes.
She noted that STEM is an important topic for discussion because it is driving innovation in the world.
‘For STEM to drive innovation in Ghana requires a collective and conscious effort, we therefore, have to work together to ensure that girls and women pursue stem programmes,’ she said.
Also in attendance at the programme were, Prof. Samuel Famiyeh, head of department, Management Science. Dr. Kwasi Frimpong, lecturer at the School of Public Service and Governance. Dr. Nicole Sharon Afrifa, lecturer, department of food processing engineering, University of Ghana among many others.