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66ma Sessione della Commissione ONU sulla Condizione delle Donne (CSW) – Evento a Margine virtuale

Intervento introduttivo pronunciato dalla Ministra per le Pari Opportunità e la Famiglia, Prof.ssa Elena Bonetti, all’Evento a Margine su “STEM education as a stepping-stone towards gender transformative climate change policies” —

Thank you.

A warm welcome to the distinguished representatives of Austria, the United Kingdom, of International Organizations, and a warm welcome to today’s speakers, and to all those who are attending through the dedicated platform and following the streaming.

It is a great pleasure for me to open this side-event devoted to the topic of education in STEM disciplines as a stepping-stone towards gender-transformative climate change policies.

I would like to thank the co-sponsors for endorsing Italy’s proposal to organize this event promoted during its Presidency of the Council of Europe and devised within the framework of the 66th UN Commission on the Status of Women.

The technological challenges we face today cannot be tackled without the full involvement of both sexes. Women’s role in contributing to viable solutions is more crucial than ever: time is not on our side, and we cannot afford to exclude and waste women and girls potential talent and skills that remain still untapped.

The first step is to improve young girls’ access to STEM education. Indeed, the most recent surveys carried out on graduates in STEM disciplines show that women are still largely excluded from careers in these fields.

On the other hand, women STEM graduates succeed in obtaining better professional positions. It is recognized that their contribution in science and technology is essential for society and a worthwhile investment.

Another reason to consider women ideal players to assume a key role in addressing critical environmental changes in our societies is their ability to tackle complex issues with greater resilience than men. This has been amply demonstrated during the pandemic.

It is imperative that we remove all barriers and stereotypes preventing women from unlocking their full potential. Too many girls give up because they have been told that “science is not for women”. All the evidence shows that this is utterly baseless.

Education in STEM is a fundamental pillar of effective policies that enable women’s empowerment and gender equality. This is a cornerstone of the first Italian Strategy for Gender Equality, as we firmly believe that a necessary cultural change must be promoted through concrete actions to re-include women.

Clearly, increasing women’s participation in science becomes even more urgent: we need women’s contribution to lead the ecological transition and the fight against climate change. In this context, today’s debate could not be more timely and crucial.

Thank you, and I look forward to hearing the conclusions from our discussions.


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Intervento conclusivo pronunciato dalla Ministra per le Pari Opportunità e la Famiglia, Prof.ssa Elena Bonetti, all’Evento a Margine su “STEM education as a stepping-stone towards gender transformative climate change policies” —

Thank you to all the speakers, discussants and participants for your very concrete and proactive contribution to the work of this important session, focusing on the role of STEM education in achieving gender-transformative climate change policies.

Today’s discussion highlighted the will and commitment to remove barriers that for too long have separated women from the world of science, mathematics, and technology.

Where our society has erected these barriers that induce women to give up, to think that engineering or physics are not appropriate disciplines for them, my commitment, first and foremost as a mathematician and educator, and in my role as Minister for Equal Opportunities, is to prove the contrary.

Our common goal is to counteract and overcome gender stereotypes and all types of discrimination, especially in male-dominated fields. Today’s work has highlighted our responsibility and duty to promote policies and actions that advance the process of achieving a gender-neutral environmental and climate approach for present and future generations.

This requires a cultural change that, in concrete terms, must enable girls and young women to contribute to emerging policy and planning on climate change mitigation and adaptation. It must also provide more and more opportunities for women’s inclusion and women’s leadership in climate change and environment-related decision-making processes.

I firmly believe that the voice and contributions of women and girls in every part of the world are now, more than ever, key factors to tackling the climate and environmental challenges of our planet. We must transform this time of crisis into a moment of opportunity. We cannot do without the contribution of women to rethink, build and project our world into the future. Now is the time to seize this opportunity.

Thank you very much, again, for your contributions and for participating.