The Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) UCC Chapter in partnership with Centre for Gender Research, Advocacy and Documentation (CEGRAD) and African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS-Ghana) has held a forum to celebrate International Day for Women and Girls in Science 2020, under the theme: “Investment in Women and Girls in Science for Inclusive Green Growth.”
Celebrating Women and Girls
Speaking at the function, the Director of CEGRAD, Dr. (Mrs.) Georgina Yaa Oduro stated that the Centre was fully in support of the programme because it acknowledged the need for celebrating women and girls in science. Dr. Oduro hinted that one of the main reasons for commemorating this event was to debunk the gendered nature of science. The Director of CEGRAD entreated women and girls to cultivate their interest as well as change their attitude towards science. Dr. Oduro called on girls to broaden their horizons in science. “Celebrating this event is to help us change the narratives about women and girls in science regarding their abilities and erasing stereotype.” She said, “We need you to come and study to help solve the problems of women and society in general; we need you to come and tell the story and give a comprehensive picture on the needs and challenges of humans; we need you to bring the unique perspectives and lead-experiences of women in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).” She congratulated role models present and urged them to mentor the young ones in science.
The Coordinator, OWSD-UCC Chapter, Dr. (Mrs.) Genevieve Adukpo, said OWSD was one of the organisations under United Nations (UN) whose aim was to promote access of women and girls in STEM.” Dr. Adukpo also hinted that the Organisation in partnership with other organisations has supported and promoted the need for women and girls in sciences. She advised women in science to support the informal sector to help add value to their products in order to make more profit. Women in technology, she said, should work hard to invent machines to reduce stress and increase productivity. “In providing resources for better economic and sustainable development, we need to strengthen the participation of women and girls in science, technology and innovation. We have to deal with stereotyping and eliminate discrimination against women and girls,” Dr. Adukpo said that to achieve all these, “we need the support of government, organisations and institutions to promote the good cause of women and girls’ involvement in STEM in the developing world.” She was hopeful that the celebration would help increase the participation of women and girls in sciences in the international community. Dr. Adukpo remarked that there was the need to invest in women and girls in science fields for inclusive green growth because that could only help us achieve the SDGs. “The informal sector should also be remembered and supported because they are close to our natural resources,” she recommended.
A member of Ghana Statistical Association, Madam Irene Kafui Amponsah, stated that gender equality was essential to achieve peaceful societies and full human potential and sustainable development.”
The Managing Director of Gyam Construction Works Limited, Engr. Adjoa Agyinba Tetteh-Gyamera, in solidarity message, advised women and girls to deal with the stereotype ideas about engineering. She added that they figure out how things work and find a practical use for scientific discovery, thus, engineering was essential for the health, happiness, and safety of people. “Therefore, engineers are needed for the improvement of people lives,” She stated.
Madam Irene Kafui Amponsah, who represented AIMS Ghana, expressed gratitude to partner with OWSD-UCC Chapter to commemorate such an important event to champion the cause of women and girls in science. “As we reflect on these critical issues during these celebrations we look forward with excitement to a continued and fruitful partnership while working together to change the face of Africa through STEM education with a focus on the woman scientists,” Mrs. Amponsah said. She congratulated all women and girls.
The Provost, College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, Prof. Moses Jojo Eghan, urged young girls to be serious with their studies in order to gain admission to the University to pursue science programmes. He advised them to take keen interest in Science courses to build a better future through STEM. Stressing on the relevance of the theme, the Chairman of the programme, Prof. Akua Opokua Britwum, noted that the celebration was very appropriate because it sought to look at investment in girls. “This investment can help us to consider the trend of growth we are pursuing and that this growth should be free,” she said. She stated that there was the need to recognise that life on this earth could not be taken for granted and “we need to continuously examine the way in which we exploit our natural resources and live our lives that compromise the environment
In attendance were women lecturers, graduate and undergraduate students from the University. Others were Science teachers and students from Edinaman Senior High School, Aggrey Memorial Senior High School, University Practice Senior High School, and University Junior High School.