International Forum on Harnessing Women’s Talents in Science, Technology and Innovation.

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 As the partner of ISTIC forum, SEAMEO QITEP in Science sent its representative, Ms. Eka Danti Agustiani, as a participant in the International Forum on Harnessing Women’s Talents in Science, Technology and Innovation. The forum was held by International Science, Technology and Innovation Centre (ISTIC) for South-south Cooperation under auspices of UNESCO, collaborated with Academy of Science Malaysia, on 25 to 26 May 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There were 125 participants and presenters from total 25 countries attended the forum which was officially opened by HE Irina Bokova, General Director of UNESCO.

According to UNESCO World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education 2012, the participation of girls in education at all levels has been growing impressively since 2000. It was also cited by the Director General of UNESCO HE Irina Bokova during ISTIC’s Fifth Anniversary Celebration Conference in 2013, that females in 13 Islamic regions account were more than 60% of graduates in the life and physical sciences. On the other hand, the UNESCO Institute of Statistics data year 2012 reveals that despite high enrolment of girls in science disciplines at higher education, the average percentage actually ending up as researchers worldwide is 30%. Well documented reasons and barriers for these phenomena are fewer promotions, fewer leadership appointments, struggle between carreer and the home, gender biases based on assumptions and perceptions etc. However, progress in finding and implementing solutions has been slow. The international forum brought the above issue into focus strategies needed on boardroom, as the objectives were to share perspectives in devising strategies overcome gender imbalance and formulate a set recommendations for stake holders on harnessing women’s talents in science, technology and innovation. The main recommendation results to be follow up from the forum are to provide and widely publish the successful women in science, technology and innovation career as models, companionship or mentoring program for talented women, encourage women to keep contributing in science, technology and innovation by setting flexible work situation and career cycle, provide child day care in the offices and promote women enterpreunerships. It was also considered to publish the role models of men behind the successful women in science, technology and innovation.

The forum provided QITEP in Science more prespectives in encouraging women teacher and education personnel to improve their roles in determining the country’s science, technology and innovation development. In general, as QITEP in Science’s main stakeholders, teacher and education personnel, whether male or female, can grow students’ interest in science, technology and innovation. They are also encouraged to change the students interest becomes the desired field in professional careers.

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Ms Eka Danti represented the Centre in the Forum