Women are among the poorest worldwide – and not only in economic terms. Millions of them lack the most basic benefits that science and technology can offer, from agricultural advances to distance learning.
In this article Shirley Malcom, co-chair of the Gender Advisory Board of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development, says that the gender divide in science and technology education demands a special strategy. Citing the work of Science and SciDev.Net, among others, as a successful start to the task, she points to the need for an international panel to identify the challenges ahead.
The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, due to start in 2005, is a useful timeline for bringing science and technology education to women worldwide. But it is a hugely complex, long-haul job – and ultimately, it will be the women themselves who will judge whether their voices have finally been heard.
Reference: Science 302, 197 (2003)