During the most recent session of the Commission on the Status of Women, IOE took part in an interactive debate on women’s economic empowerment.
IOE Special Representative to the UN Shea Gopaul joined with Laura Addati, International Labour Organization Policy Specialist and Stevan Lynn, Founder of Deeds Driven Dads to examine measures to be taken to achieve the full economic empowerment of women.
Ms Gopaul started the discussion by pointing out that according to the World Economic Forum studies, it will take over 250 years to close the gap at the current pace of change. This is an increase of 55 years from the previous year.
She further explained that increasing women to male levels of employment would have consequences on the Gross Domestic Product. In fact, it will increase it by 5% in the US, 9% in Japan and 34% in Egypt.
Ms Addati noted that opportunities in education and skills development were necessary in order to access decent employment in the age of artificial intelligence, as well as social security networks and economic policy. She also highlighted the fact that there are fewer girls in STEM programs nowadays because of a lack of roles models and engaging curriculums. “Less than 30% of world’s researchers are women” and “the global situation remains characterized by gender imbalances”.
All participants agreed in conclusion that there is some positive developments as the number of women in STEM education rise but agreed that much to be done to close the growing gap.