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IBE specialist and UNESCO colleagues discuss how to promote girls’ and women’s STEM education

Participants praise IBE’s STEM resource pack at General Conference side-event:
“Cracking the Code: Girls’ and Women’s Education in STEM” 

On 10 November - World Science Day for Peace and Development - UNESCO organised a side-event at the 39th Session of the General Conference. The side-event, entitled “Cracking the Code: Girls’ and Women’s Education in STEM”, was designed to engage, inform and support Member States in their efforts to promote gender equality in education, and the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Sharing UNESCO insights
The event shared the findings of UNESCO’s report, “Cracking the code: Girls’ and women’s education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This document sets out the factors hindering and facilitating girls’ and women’s participation, achievement and continuation in STEM education. UNESCO colleagues from different UNESCO offices introduced a variety of tools and programmes developed to strengthen girls’ and women’s education in STEM and discussed future initiatives and possible cooperation opportunities. There were also many participants from inter-governmental organizations, the private sector and foundations. The event was opened by UNESCO Director-General, Ms Irina Bokova. 

Renato Opertti, a Programme Specialist at the IBE, joined a panel of UNESCO colleagues to explore ways to promote girls’ and women’s education in STEM, presenting examples from practice, including tools, programmes and initiatives and partnerships, and presenting future pathways to take these to scale.
Praise for resource pack
Mr Opertti also detailed IBE’s efforts to mainstream gender-sensitive curriculum and set out the next steps for IBE’s STEM resource pack. He explained how countries from different settings can cooperate, share experience and learn from good practice in this area. Those attending the event were appreciative of the resource pack as a powerful tool to implement STEM education at the policy, schools and classroom levels.
Widening access to training
Mr Opertti said: “We are delighted that UNESCO’s Capacity Development for Education Programme has agreed to finance the translation of our STEM resource pack from English to French. This will expand significantly our scope of training activities among Francophone countries.”

Further Resources
Video Resources
UNESCO Report: "Cracking the Code" (FR)
Déchiffrer le code : l’éducation des filles et des femmes aux sciences, technologie, ingénierie et mathématiques (STEM)