Women and Girls in Science: Are we there yet?
by Deborah Kasule
On Thursday 11th February 2021, Uganda joined the rest of the world in celebrating the International Day for Women and Girls in Science, and will in a few days celebrate the International Women’s Day on 8th March 2021. Gender equality and science are critical for attainment of both national and global development goals.
In 1995, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) was adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women, and subsequently endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1996. The Beijing Platform for Action, to which 189 countries committed themselves, constituted a global framework for realizing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The declaration specifically called upon governments, the international community and civil society and the private sector, to empower women and girls by taking action in 12 critical areas: poverty, education and training, health, violence, armed conflict, economy, power and decision-making, institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women, human rights, media, environment and the girl child. Science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG5).
Open science can accelerate innovation and affordable technologies
by Karl Raymond Kaddu
In 2001, the Indian state of Kerala introduced the IT@School Project which they have used to remodel conventional teaching methods in classrooms by incorporating information technology (IT) in over 12,000 schools benefitting an estimated 5 million students and 200,000 teachers thus far. The project runs the state syllabus on a free software platform. This project has enabled thousands of poor communities to easily access essential resources that would otherwise be costly for them had it not been free. Such is an example of open science.