UNITAR Collaborates with Royal Academy of Science International Trust (RASIT)
10 February, 2017, New York, USA - United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), Mr. Nikhil Seth, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Royal Academy of Science International Trust (RASIT) represented by HRH Princess Dr. Nisreen Bint Prince.
RASIT is an organization that was established in 1968 with a mission to promote and develop excellence in science, education, economics, health and the environment for sustainable development.
HRH Princess Dr. Nisreen Bint Prince and Mr. Seth were pleased to affirm their commitment to the shared goals and objectives required to strengthen capacity building for sustainable development. This partnership between RASIT and UNITAR is reflective of UNITAR’s commitment to attaining the Sustainable Development Goals through education and meaningful collaborations. They emphasized the means through which the goals of sustainable development would be furthered by this partnership. These means include organization of joint events, public outreach amongst other avenues.
After the MOU was signed, Mr. Seth delivered the keynote speech for the second commemoration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. In his speech, Mr. Seth expressed that the he was greatly flattered to speak on the issue of women and girls in science focusing on the impact of the media. He thanked Princess Nisreen El- Hashemite and Dr. Helena Dalli for their commitment to the cause. He connected the importance of gender equality as a main focus for the success of Agenda 2030.
He stressed that there should be more women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) not just because of the economic benefits but also because of the social repercussions. As an example, he explained that women do not get quality health care in several places because the issues which affect them are not being discussed. However, this would not be the case if there were more female researchers.
Mr. Seth candidly admitted that there were several barriers which hindered women’s participation in the STEM fields. These barriers include social, political, economic and cultural obstructions. Mr. Seth said these hindrances can be confronted by engaging the media to review and change the negative stereotypes of women in STEM fields and the negative stereotype of women being worse in maths and sciences. He noted that the influence of the media on attitudinal and behavioural patterns was so great that if properly used, the media could become a great ally in breaking the barriers women face.
Mr. Seth said it would be beneficial if more women were provided with positive role models and leadership opportunities as it would encourage their involvement in STEM fields. He ended by stressing the importance of training in this area and encouraging those present to take advantage of UNITAR’s many events which focus on women and gender equality.
Photo Credits: UNITAR New York